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.
is a native Californian and has lived and worked with Asian elephants for 34 years, 31 of which were in Thailand.
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.
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.
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."
'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
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?
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.
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.
then went on to visit other friends and family in Montana and California before returning to Thailand.