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This profile was last updated on 2/3/15  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. Richard Lair

Wrong Richard Lair?


Asian Elephant Support
4764 Brookton Way
St. Louis , Missouri 63128
United States

Company Description: Asian Elephant Support (AES) is a U.S. Non-profit foundation dedicated to the care and conservation of Asian elephants in their range countries, and to the people...   more

Employment History

  • Foreign Relations Officer
    Thai Elephant Conservation Centre

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Advisor and International Relations Officer
    National Institute of Thailand
  • Advisor and International Relations Officer
    National Elephant Institute of Thailand
  • Member
    IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group
  • Co-Founder
    The Thai Elephant Orchestra
  • Director
    Thai Elephant Conservation Centre
  • Advisor and Foreign Affairs Officer
    Thai Elephant Conservation Centre


  • University of Washington State , USA
128 Total References
Web References
Annual Report, 3 Feb 2015 [cached]
Richard Lair, Advisor Address: 4764 Brookton Way; St. Louis, MO 63128 USA Email address:
Officers and Directors, 3 Feb 2015 [cached]
Richard Lair
Richard Lair has been studying ..., 3 Aug 2011 [cached]
Richard Lair has been studying the Asian elephant for over 25 years. He is Advisor and International Relations Officer at the National Institute of Thailand, based at the Forest Industry Organization's Thai Elephant Conservation Centre, in Lampang province. He is also a member of the IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AESG). Richard Lair is the author of "Astray: the care and management of the Asian elephant in domesticity".
The Elephant Sanctuary : Hohenwald Tennessee, 29 Dec 2008 [cached]
Here is a statement by Richard Lair regarding the elephants self-portrait painting. Richard Lair has intensively studied the Asian elephant for 27 years and is presently Advisor and International Relations Officer at the National Elephant Institute of Thailand, based at the Forest Industry Organization's Thai Elephant Conservation Center, in Lampang province. He is co-founder of the Thai Elephant Orchestra.
Foundation News, 3 Feb 2015 [cached]
AES sponsors Richard Lair as keynote speaker at the 2011 Elephant Managers Assocation Conference (Rochester, NY)
Asian Elephant Support was pleased to be able to sponsor Richard Lair's attendance as keynote speaker at the 2011 Elephant Managers Association (EMA) Conference in Rochester, NY, in October.
Richard Lair is a world famous expert and conservationist who has had an exciting and diverse career working with and writing about elephants in Thailand. He is a native Californian and has lived and worked with Asian elephants for 34 years, 31 of which were in Thailand. He moved to Thailand in 1980 and volunteered with the Association for the Conservation of Wildlife, the country's first conservation organization.
In 1988 he wrote the first scientific paper on the numbers and status of Thai domesticated elephants, pointing out the new threats facing a greatly diminished population. In 1997 he wrote "Gone Astray: The Care and Management of the Asian Elephant in Domesticity" for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and this publication remains the definitive text on domesticated elephant in Southeast Asia. In 2005 he edited and coauthored an "Elephant Care Manual for Mahouts and Camp Managers. His next project will be a review of Thai law on both wild and domesticated elephants, including possible directions for the future.
For twelve years he worked at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center (TECC) as an advisor. In 1993 he founded, trained and managed the Second Unit elephants for a Walt Disney film, "Operation Dumbo Drop. He also worked on Oliver Stone's "Alexander" as safety and animal welfare officer. He was the first person to train elephants paint in Thailand and is cofounder and co-director of the one and only, world renowned, Thai Elephant Orchestra. The Orchestra has just released its third and final CD entitled "Water Music."
Richard's travel and speaking engagements kept him very busy on this trip, and we are grateful to Richard for sharing his knowledge and experience with so many other elephant professionals.
Justin Smith, Linda Reifschneider, Richard Lair and Jenni Bowman with elephants Jewell and Zina at the Little Rock Zoo
Richard Lair presents at University of Arkansas, Little Rock
April filled in for Richard at the breakfast and Richard arrived safely later that morning.
After a good visit with the Riddles, Richard and Linda flew to Orlando for a day's visit to Ringling's Center for Elephant Conservation, whose motto is: "Endangered Species?
Richard then traveled to the west coast to present at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, and to catch up with some old friends. The Woodland Park Zoo were gracious hosts and set up a very nice event, complete with an elegant reception with appetizers and beverages. Richard gave an engaging presentation about his experiences with elephants, and focused primarily on the situation of elephants in Thailand, where he has been living for over 30 years. Gretchen and her husband had worked for Richard in Thailand for 6 months and hadn't seen him for 2 years, so they were excited to meet up with him at the event.
Richard then went on to visit other friends and family in Montana and California before returning to Thailand.
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