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Chat with a Phoenix Zoo Elephant Keeper?

Posted by on 9 / 11 / 2008

Here at the Phoenix Zoo we strive to provide the best lives possible for our elephants. We believe in providing a relaxed environment where the elephants can spend most of their day just being elephants. Our elephants are not pressured to perform, we only ask them necessary husbandry behaviors such as presenting their feet for daily checks and presenting their ears for blood draws. We aim to give our elephants as many opportunities to exhibit natural behaviors as possible. One main way we do this is by offering all their hay in hanging hay nets to simulate browsing. These hay nets also increase the amount of time it takes the elephants to consume their daily ration of hay. We also either hide their treats or present them in puzzle feeders to help increase their foraging time. Elephants in the wild will forage for 18-20 hours a day so increasing foraging time in captivity is very important. Not only does increasing their foraging time keep our elephants busy for more of the day but it also helps to drastically decrease the stereotypical behaviors often observed in captive elephants.Click here for more info on our elephants.

Ever wanted to know what it’s like to live a day in the life of an elephant keeper at the Phoenix Zoo? Well now you can! Just write a comment and a real life elephant keeper from the Zoo will answer any questions you may have! Happy blogging!

6 comments on “Chat with a Phoenix Zoo Elephant Keeper?

  1. Sally on said:

    How many pounds of hay do they eat a day and what kind is it? Do they get other fruits and veggies? What are they. what do you use the clean thier feet?

  2. Nicole on said:

    Do you ever fear the wild animal instincts in the elephants will come out and they could possibly attack? Do you have a procedure in place in the event that the elephants might become aggressive?

  3. Joel on said:

    Hi! What is the history being the girls? Where are they from and how did they end up at the zoo?

  4. Joel on said:

    sorry *behind* not ‘being’

  5. Taylor Kess on said:

    Dear Phoenix Zoo elephant keeper,
    I am currently 15 years old and my dream is to become an elephant keeper. I am absolutely in love with elephants and think elephant keepers are the luckiest people in the world in the sense that they get to work with and see these magnificent animals everyday. I was wondering if you have any advice for becoming an elephant keeper. What should I major in? What are good colleges in the country for this field? Where should I get my experience?

    Thank you for what you all do for elephants!

    Sincerely,
    Taylor Kess

  6. Connie on said:

    Hurray…
    Thank-you for taking the time to create this blog!
    This is just the kind of resource I intend to include in
    my new website for crafty kids.

    Elephants are one of my favorite subjects for drawing,
    so it will be fun to point the kids to your blog for
    “official interaction!”

    Thanks again, I look forward to including your
    information about taking care of elephants as one
    of my favorite resources for kids.

    Connie
    : )

Phoenix Zoo | 455 N. Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008 | 602.273.1341
www.phoenixzoo.org