Elephants have been a passion of mine since I first saw one at the San Diego Zoo when I was a child. From that point, I knew I wanted to help save wildlife and wild places. I started my career at the Virginia Zoo in 2002 working with African elephants Monica, Lisa and Cita. In 2006, I joined the team at the Oklahoma City Zoo to work with their two female Asian elephants Chandra and Asha, and I haven’t looked back. Over the years, the Zoo’s elephant herd has grown from two elephants to six including three adult females, two bulls and a calf! We have developed an amazing elephant program here, one that is highly regarded among the global elephant management community.
This month we have the wonderful opportunity to host the 2016 Elephant Managers Association Conference (October 12 – 16, 2016). This is an annual event that attracts hundreds of elephant professionals from all over the world to expand their knowledge on conservation, research, elephant care and best practices. There is a pre-conference workshop that will cover a wide range of topics for participants to actively engage in. The attendants will also visit the Oklahoma City Zoo and see what a wonderful community-based zoo we have, as well as participate in an elephant wellness workshop. The Oklahoma City Zoo and its elephant team is honored to be selected as the host for this event. It truly shows the dedication that our animal care team has to the conservation and protection of this amazing species.
– Nick Newby, assistant curator of pachyderm and hoofstock
Editor's Note: EMA host facilities are chosen based on their demonstrated commitment to caring for elephants, their conservation and research efforts on behalf of the species, their skills and experience, their hospitality and their enthusiasm for fostering growth and development in other elephant programs.
Each conference attracts up to 200 delegates from around the world for two days of formal presentations, a zoo day filled with elephant workshops and a pre or post trip to an additional, nearby elephant facility. It is the most accessible and affordable opportunity for elephant care professionals to expand their knowledge and to grow their professional network. Delegates will receive cutting edge information focusing on professional elephant management trends and will have the unique opportunity to see firsthand, the methods employed by other established elephant programs.