Don McLennan

From the list of elephant persons Family: McLennan

Don McLennan
Don  McLennan
Two western riders on horses in backyard in Conroe, Texas. Pinkey Barnes is at left and Don McLennan is at right. Al G. Kelly & Miller Bros. Circus,1953
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Personal details

Spouse(s) Hope McLennan

Country United States

Work locations
Title elephant trainer 1973-
Location at San Diego Zoo Safari Park in United States

Title elephant trainer 1951
Location at Kelly Miller Circus in United States

Title animal trainer
Location at Clyde Beatty Circus in United States

Title animal trainer
Location at Circus Vargas in United States

Biography details

Don McLennan , circus animal trainer in United States


McLennan was a famous animal trainer, not only working for circuses and zoos, but also for Film productions, like Dr. Dolittle, where he trained a giraffe to be ridden, using a crate, a concept which was later copied by institutions who trained giraffes.

Don was a circus wild west cowboy appearing in after show concerts western themed with roping, trick riding, etc. With his wife, Hope. He was on Clyde Beatty and other western circuses over the years and became pretty handy at training liberty, trick horses, etc. A great flair for costuming and novelty liberty presentations. He trained, showed and sold a number of horse, pony, mule acts over the years. I believe he was last with Vargas and in fact replaced me and my family when we blowed in Chico, calif. Don was also a first rate harness maker and made for me some really fine liberty horse and pony harness. Red patent leather, German silver hardware, etc. As good as any European. Family still have some now practice harness from Don. He was a nice fellow of high integrity and very modest but extremely capable. He sold acts to Atayde, Fuentes, etc. Nice to see your blog about him. A real show guy. With due respect.
John Herriott

This Western scene has nothing to do with ranchers and cowboys. Instead, Don McLennan, a trainer for Circus Vargas, is exercising his horse, Eagle, before the circus opening performance in the South Bay. The circus will give performances today, tomorrow and Tuesday under the big top at 33rd St. and National Ave., between Chula Vista and National City.
National City Star-News, Volume 99, Number 10, 1 February 1981

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2021). animal trainer Don McLennan in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 2 April 2023 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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Selected publications

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Categories animal trainer | circus | San Diego Zoo Safari Park | McLennan family | People from United States

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