Elephant keeper

Common in Europe is that you have undergone "zookeepers line", or similar, which often is an upper graduate 3 years school, including practice work with wild animals in Zoos, safari parks or other places. As a zookeeper you might be needed in the zoos elephant house, once in a while or longer.
If you start working with the elephants more permanently, you will be trained by the older keepers.

Rather often, the keeper becomes very attached to his new work, and becomes a full-time elephant keeper, always travelling around between zoos and safariparks, meeting fellow trainers and new elephants. His or her house becomes filled with elephants out of different materials, on the walls, on the floor, in the bed, in the icebox, in the toilet, everywhere there is ancient hooks and pictures, paintings, stone statues, and wooden carved elephants. Vacancy's tend to be spend in tropical countries like Thailand or India, where elephants are trained with the old methods.

In USA, it is more common than in Europe that you have studied academic biology, zoology or similar, before you start work as a zookeeper, and here is also an elephant handlers school.
Some years ago Mr Scott Riddle started the elephant school in USA, where you can get trained, also as a novices. The Riddles school is mainly based upon the circus training traditions, and is slightly different than Indian techniques. Here you will be able to get guided by experienced trainers, and actively work with the Riddles elephants. Theres also education in nutrition etc.

The American Elephant Managers Association is open for membership for everyone, and their newsletters gives education and guidelines in every aspects of the profession.
In Europe the EEKMA the European Elephant Keepers and Managers Asssociation gives similair possibilities.
In USA, and in Europe are 2-3 days conferences held every year, where every keeper may participate.

 
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