Narrating the correlation of elephants as related to their import, groupings, breeding and transfers,
along with other elephant related topics.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Father's Photographs - Caldwell Zoo

The following pictures were taken at an unknown date at the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler, Texas. They were taken between December 1988 to the early-1990s. At the time indicated, three African elephants resided at the zoo - females Tanya and Rolinda with male Chip.

The top picture features Chip on the left and presumably Tanya on the right with Rolinda in the middle. The female elephants in the top picture and the female in the second and third pictures need positive identification, in addition to the handler in the second picture.

Photo 1, Caldwell Zoo
Photo Courtesy of M Easley

Photo 2, Caldwell Zoo
Photo Courtesy of M Easley

Photo 3, Caldwell Zoo
Photo Courtesy of M Easley


  1. AnonymousMay 14, 2011

    what r ur comments on tape # 2 release from have trunk will travel ?
    I'm interested in ur conclusion . Although it appears still heavily editted - is certainly does not look good.

    What I don't really understand being a lay person ( with a open mind) is why do we

    1- only hear Kari nagging - and nagging ?
    Appears Gary operates on a differant way .

    2- the next part I don't get - is in the video - it clearly shows
    that the ele is in the process of obeying her command - by going down - yet it clearly wasn't enough - I would think it takes a few seconds for a 7k pound animal - to do it ?

    I look forward to hearing ur views

    Timmy D

  2. Timmy,
    Thank you for your comment. In my opinion, few conclusions can be made from this footage. It is not even a video; it is a compilation of clips and “heavily edited” as you say. The snippets could have been taken in a day or over five years. The only footage included for release was anything involving the use of a tool for working elephants. Any use of an ankus (to be politically correct) is now considered “abuse” or foul after years of the animal industry trying to convince the public “we have them but do not use them.” Regarding the lay down, was the command already given several times without a response? Has the animal not complied at times in the past and they are attempting to circumvent a non-response? Can these questions be answered in a several second clip only included because a tool was used?

  3. Brian KohlerJune 05, 2011

    Hey Ryan. Hard to tell but that looks like it may be a young Scott Maddox in the picture. I visited there in 1989 when I was at Fort Worth. Ask Roy, he was there at the time, he would know.

  4. Thank you for sharing Brian. During what time did you work at Fort Worth? Do you have any pictures of Sammy that you can share with the blog? I have heard many stories about the (big) boy.

  5. I worked in Fort Worth during the 80's. All my pictures of Sammy unfortunately got lost in a move. Sammy meant well but had difficulty dealing with past issues. His way of dealing with things was aggression and pounding. Glad the last years he was able to get out and enjoy life. Miss him and ole John alot.


I eagerly anticipate associating with new individuals with an interest or history in elephants, elephant history and elephant record keeping. If you have further information regarding the animals or locations questioned in the article, please leave a comment or message me in an effort to complete their records for elephant historians.