We are lucky to have a dedicated team of caregivers, with hearts and minds open to learning what it takes to provide true sanctuary for the resident animals. The idea of “sanctuary” is more than just providing a beautiful habitat, but is also about developing deep relationships and comprehensive understanding of the nuances of elephant behavior and care. Each individual animal has different needs and those must be respected and addressed in a specific way, tailored to the healing journey they are on.
On the surface, learning the technical steps of what to do (and what not to do) are relatively easy; understanding why things must be done in a certain way can be more challenging and take time and dedication to understand. Simply learning to step back and show an elephant you are listening and paying attention to their needs can make all the difference in whether trust will be built. This is a journey for both the caregivers and the elephants.
Building the sanctuary here in Brazil has been a dream, but it hasn’t been without its many challenges. Sometimes the hurdles have seemed overwhelming, and the staff (particularly Scott and Kat) find themselves taking on a less-than-ideal number of tasks. Because Global Sanctuary for Elephants has long-term plans for several rescues in the works, we have to be reasonable about what can be accomplished by a small number of people. Scott and Kat spoke to our board of directors, and some friends and colleagues about the need for a new, experienced caregiver and team leader that would be a good fit for Elephant Sanctuary Brazil – someone who could help us develop our staff to reach its full potential. We take this very seriously, because it is essential for such a person to understand more than the technical aspects of care, but to also be attuned to the teaching component and the emotional aspects.
After some discussion, Dr. Joyce Poole provided us with a lead on someone who we were somewhat familiar with, and who had left a deep impression upon us. After a conversation with Ingo, the elephant caregiver in question, we felt as though we’d all known one another for ages. Through conversations, he shared with us his views on elephants, sanctuary, and recovery; he talked about his own struggles with past work in captivity and what he hoped to be able to provide to an organization, and to the lives of the elephants in their care. In essence, Ingo shares the same dream that urged us to begin this process years ago. We didn’t know that such a person existed.
We promise to share more about Ingo as he becomes part of our team, essentially jumping into the deep end of the organization and helping us all to keep our heads above water. Until then, welcome Ingo. The GSE family is happy to have you.
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Lisa saysAugust 16, 2021 at 2:11 pm
Welcome Ingo! So happy that you have joined such a wonderful family!
Bobi StaySee saysAugust 16, 2021 at 2:25 pm
SHEILA saysAugust 16, 2021 at 2:26 pm
YES! INDEED A TEAM LEADER WITH ELEPHANT EXPERIENCE LIKE “INGO” FOR STAFF IS A VERY GOOD IDEA 👍WHEN ALL THE OTHER🐘🐘🐘🐘 🐘LADIES AND 🐘TAMY ARRIVE❤️! IT WOULD BE MAYHEM TO SCOTT AND KAT TO HAVE TO BE HANDS ON 24-7-365 HOWEVER IM SURE THEY WILL BE DOING SOME TRAINING INITIALLY WITH “INGO”. I PRAY 🙏AND HOPE INGO AND OTHER STAFF HAVE WONDERFUL LEARNING WORKING EXPERIENCE TO BE READY FOR THE OTHER RESCUES THAT DESPERATELY NEED TO HAVE FREEDOM🙏 WELCOME TO INGO, MAY HE ❤️ THE NEW LADIES🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘👍👍 AND STAFF!
Victoria B saysAugust 16, 2021 at 2:28 pm
John saysAugust 16, 2021 at 2:47 pm
Ok, how does this sound? Ingo the Incredible! Pretty good, hey? Good to have you on board, Ingo!
Sara saysAugust 16, 2021 at 3:00 pm
I’m guessing he’ll appreciate that!
Beji saysAugust 16, 2021 at 2:55 pm
Ingo has the way coolest name ever!
Sara saysAugust 16, 2021 at 3:00 pm
What a nice thing to say!
Alana saysAugust 16, 2021 at 3:08 pm
Hey Sara, how about a photo of all the staff? I have names but no faces, you included 🙂
Kat Blais saysAugust 16, 2021 at 4:37 pm
the staff is full of people who are not fans of photos 😉
Anna Kircher saysAugust 16, 2021 at 4:29 pm
This is a wise move on your part, and I am delighted to hear you’ve found someone who is such a good fit for you and the elephants!!! Welcome aboard, Ingo!
Philippe Vezina saysAugust 16, 2021 at 4:30 pm
Joyce will never steer you wrong!
JoAnn Merriman-Eaton saysAugust 16, 2021 at 5:03 pm
Welcome Ingo on this journey with GSE. It sounds like you will be a wonderful addition to the GSE family..
Julie saysAugust 16, 2021 at 6:05 pm
Welcome Ingo. I have often wondered how there is going to be enough staff of the right fit to meet the captive elephant need in South America. I thought it would be quite difficult to match the unique qualifications needed. I’m delighted to hear it is not impossible, though!
Sara saysAugust 16, 2021 at 6:35 pm
It certainly is difficult. It took some time, but we feel Ingo is going to be a great match for ESB.
Carol saysAugust 16, 2021 at 6:09 pm
God bless Ingo for his dedication to this mission and all that it encompasses! Wishing him all the best and a huge WELCOME!!!!👌🏻👏🏻👍🏻🙏🏻
Shannon saysAugust 16, 2021 at 6:20 pm
I was so curious that I Googled “Ingo elephant expert” and was able to learn a great deal about this truly marvelous addition to Sanctuary staff
Sara saysAugust 16, 2021 at 6:33 pm
We are very lucky to have him.
Rachel saysAugust 16, 2021 at 6:25 pm
Welcome Ingo! Looking forward to reading more about your work with the eles. GSE – if there’s anything Ingo needs to assist with his onboarding – tools, electronics, etc., please let us know. 🌸
Sara saysAugust 16, 2021 at 6:35 pm
Thank you so much for your kindness!
Jeannie Ulrich saysAugust 16, 2021 at 6:31 pm
Welcome Ingo! Sounds like a wonderful addition to the GSE family. 🙂
Anita J saysAugust 16, 2021 at 10:05 pm
So so glad you found another amazing person to join your team! Welcome Ingo to the best place in South America for the most amazing creatures!
Katie Howard saysAugust 17, 2021 at 12:46 am
This is most welcome news! We ALL so greatly appreciate what you’ve already accomplished at GSE, but there are BIG plans afoot and I have worried about the bandwidth of the current team.
I’m thrilled to hear about the addition of Ingo, and agree with the other person who commented that Joyce Poole would never steer you wrong!
So….Welcome, Ingo! Buckle up, because you have a lot of (very joyful) work ahead of you! ❤️🐘❤️
Suzanne Eaton saysAugust 17, 2021 at 1:10 am
Greetings Ingo and a big welcome to the family at GSE.
jen saysAugust 17, 2021 at 1:46 am
I take another deep breath, as we continue forward as sanctuary, caregivers, protectors, and elephant champions. Welcome, Ingo
Pam Dodd saysAugust 19, 2021 at 12:46 pm
So happy to hear the GSE staff is expanding. Looking forward to learning more about Ingo and seeing him with all the current “residents.”
Carol in Vancouver, Canada saysSeptember 1, 2021 at 4:10 pm
Welcome, Ingo! You must be an amazing person, to be coming onboard with GSE. I’m so glad the team is gaining such a seasoned caregiver to balance the load. I’m sure it will be a great relief because let’s face it; no matter how much we love our kids, sometimes we just need a little time off! Also wanted to mention the photo; it is SPECTACULAR. Wish I was there, but glad I’m not, for the girls’ sake. Cheers, everyone!
Sara saysSeptember 1, 2021 at 4:12 pm
Thank you! We are thrilled to have such an experienced person joining our staff. We’ve already put him to work with Pocha and Guillermina.
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