Carol and Winkie, 2004
May 18, 1954 |
|Education||Exotic Animal Training & Management Program, 1974 Moorpark College, California|
|Occupation||Elephant Welfare Consultant|
From 1974 to the present, Buckley has been responsible for and responsive to elephants: caring for them, living with them, transporting them, spending nights out in the habitat with them, advocating for them, playing with them:[a] she has been solely responsible for them and their relative happiness in captivity. Through her experience with elephants kept in zoos and circuses in the US and abroad, she has become a leading speaker and expert witness for captive elephants. She also works with federal, state, and foreign government agencies and with private organizations to create and to strengthen regulations that protect the welfare of elephants kept in captivity.
- 1 Education and Work
- 2 Selected works
- 3 Notes
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Education and Work
While a student at Moorpark College in 1974, Buckley was touched by a tiny baby elephant that a local tire dealer had bought to market his tires. Buckley volunteered to feed and care for the elephant named Fluffy. A year later, Buckley borrowed $25,000, bought Fluffy, changed her name to Tarra, and founded Tarra Productions.
'Tarra Productions' and the Awakening of an Elephant Welfare Activist
By 1980, when Tarra was six years old and a playful preadolescent elephant, Buckley taught Tarra to roller skate. For their first 15 years together, Buckley lived with, cared for, trained, transported and performed with Tarra in circuses and zoos in the United States and Canada. Tarra presented an Academy Award during one year. Tarra and Carol were never apart. Both were bonded members of a trans-species family.
In 1984 Buckley began to question the life that she had chosen for Tarra. One day, after a roller skating demonstration, a woman approached Buckley and said: "That's abuse. You're abusing your animal by making her skate." Buckley knew Tarra enjoyed skating, that is was something she did willingly, playfully. But Carol then realized that she was creating the wrong impression about Tarra and elephants. She immediately hung up Tarra's skates and began to focus more on educating people to understand elephants' social, emotional and physical needs. Buckley did not believe that elephants exist to entertain people; she knew that each elephant's needs must come first. Around that same time, Tarra, was entering her preteens. Her behaviour was changing. She was moody and did not enjoy the same things she did as a child. She was maturing and Carol was determined to create a healthy life for Tarra.
Buckley began to search for a better life for Tarra in a variety of zoos and animal parks where she worked and consulted, including African Lion Safari and Bowmanville Zoo in Ontario; the Racine Zoo in Wisconsin; and the Nashville Zoo in Tennessee. While Tarra would like each new zoo at first, she soon became bored with the confinement. She could be found standing by the enclosing fence swaying back and forth.
Buckley realized that a better life for a captive elephant, a place where elephants would have autonomy, could interact with con specifics and nature, outside of the domination of people did not exist. After musing, analyzing, searching, designing and redesigning barns and land to meet Tarra's needs, Buckley was jolted into action by the horrific death of Tyke in Honolulu, Hawaii in August 1994. Tyke was fatally shot in front of many people after she killed her trainer and escaped the circus ring. This incident is still used by animal control people who want to convince their city councils not to allow wild animal circuses in their cities.
The Elephant Sanctuary (Hohenwald)
In November 1994, Carol Buckley, with a loan from the local bank, bought 112 acres in Hohenwald, Tennessee. Using the savings she and Tarra had acquired, Buckley built a barn for Tarra and co-founded the Elephant Sanctuary (Hohenwald) in Tennessee: The first natural habitat refuge for sick, old and needy elephants. In 1997 Buckley used the money from the sale of her home in Ojai, California. combined with her life savings as collateral, to get a loan to build a second barn to accept more needy elephants. From 1994 to 2009, Buckley used personal funds and collateral to ensure the Sanctuary’s continued growth. Today, the Elephant Sanctuary (Hohenwald) is 2,700 acres (1,100 ha), housing African and Asian elephants in three separate sections with four new barns, enclosed by 20 miles (32 km) of fencing.
While at the Elephant Sanctuary, Buckley developed a non-dominant management system and an holistic healthcare program that supports the recovery of traumatized, injured, and sick elephants while allowing them, as much as possible, to make their own choices.
Buckley was personally responsible for rescuing each of the 23 elephants from zoos and circuses that moved to The Elephant Sanctuary (Hohenwald).
- Tarra (1995) – was Buckley's inspiration for sanctuary, Tyke a circus elephant who was killed as she tried to escape the circus., was the catalyst.
- Barbara (1996) – living alone at a Florida elephant breeding park because she had a wasting disease and was unbreedable.[c]
- Jenny (1997) – sometimes called Jelly-Bean, was dumped, crippled, and found nearly dead at an old animal shelter near Las Vegas. When Shirley, below, arrived Jenny recognized her immediately, supporting the idea that "elephants never forget."
- Shirley (1999) – the matriarch of the herd, came from a zoo in Louisiana where she had lived alone for over 20 years; Shirley had been confiscated by Fidel Castro in Cuba when she had been working there with a circus.
- Bunny (1999) – came from Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, Indiana, where she was loved but had feet problems and lived alone.[d]
- Sissy (2000) – the city of El Paso, Texas voted to remove Sissy from their own zoo after a video surfaced which showed El Paso Zoo Elephant Keepers beating her.[e][f]
- Winkie (2000) – retired from the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin which had no funds to maintain and upgrade her facility; she was known as a dangerous elephant having attacked several keepers.
- Tina (2003) – came from the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Canada, where she was well loved but had feet problems.[g]
- Tange (2004) – retired from Albany Georgia, the Chehaw Wild Animal Park, where Buckley had been employed as a consultant, see "Tarra Productions", above.
- Zula (2004) – arrived from the Chehaw Wild Animal Park in Albany, Georgia. Buckley consulted at the Chehaw Wild Animal Park when she worked in "Tarra Productions".
- Flora (2004) – retired from the Flora Circus after she attacked a woman;[h] and from the Miami's MetroZoo (now Zoo Miami), where she attacked a keeper,[i] and finally to sanctuary, and relative freedom.[j] Transferred from John Cuneo Jr.'s Hawthorn Company as settlement of a suit brought by the USDA.
- Misty (2004) _ possibly infected with TB, Misty was freed with Lota. Two years later the rest of the herd arrived from John Cuneo Jr.'s Hawthorn Company as settlement of a suit brought by the USDA 
- Minnie, Lottie, Queenie, Liz, Debbie, Ronnie, Billie, Frieda (2006)
- Dulary (2007), retired from the Philadelphia Zoo where she had been isolated because of an eye injury; she is now integrated into the "Original, Founding Herd".
Other Elephants confiscated by the USDA
- Delhi (2003) – Confiscated from John Cuneo Jr.'s Hawthorn Company, (owner/trainer of Tyke). A keeper at John Cuneo Jr.'s Hawthorn Company had soaked Delhi's front legs in full strength formaldehyde which had severely burned her feet and legs and then the Hawthorn Corporation failed to provide veterinary care.[n]
- Ned (2008) – was unhealthily thin; he was confiscated because the owner in Florida failed to comply with the Animal Welfare Act.
Buckley coordinated the rescue of the first elephant ever confiscated by the USDA and lobbied to have all of John Cuneo Jr.'s Hawthorn Elephants sent to the Elephant Sanctuary.[o] In 2006 Buckley organized the rescue, an effort which had taken over 2 years and enormous focus and determination, of a group of eight female elephants confiscated from the Hawthorn Corporation by the USDA. She designed individualized treatment programs to help each of them recover from the physical, psychological and emotional effects of nearly four decades of circus life.
Elephant Aid International
Since the founding of EAI, Buckley has spent many months each year in Nepal, India, Thailand and Sri Lanka consulting on and providing elephant foot care, target training and Compassionate Elephant Management (CEM) for elephants and their mahouts, and, creating solar powered chain free corrals to get working elephants in Asia off chains.
Elephant Refuge North America (ERNA) in Attapulgus, GA
With knowledge gained from finding, creating, building and directing The Elephant Sanctuary (Hohenwald), as well as the knowledge gained from work on 'Chain Free Means Pain Free' projects and other elephant welfare projects in Asia,  Buckley created Elephant Refuge North America (ERNA) in 2016.  The new Elephant Refuge in North America is located in Attapulgus, Georgia a few miles north of Tallahassee Florida. Buckley chose this site because it provides elephants 850 acres of species suitable habitat to wander and explore day and night, including pastures, forests, lakes, around 50 inches rainfall year round, mild winters, hot humid summers. In addition the site will provide live web cams for people to observe natural elephant behaviour in real time, and an international intern/education center. 
Carol Buckley has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, Parade, Chicago Tribune, People and Readers Digest, and on Oprah, ABC News, 20/20, CBS News, CNN and the Canadian Broadcast Corporation. and other printed and visual media.
- Travels with Tarra, Tilbury House Publishers, January 2002, ISBN 978-0-88448-241-3.
- Just for Elephants Tilbury House Publishers, November 2006, ISBN 978-0-88448-283-3. 23 years before Shirley was relocated to the sanctuary, Jenny was an infant elephant at a circus and Shirley was recovering from a broken leg. Apparently they shared a stall for a few months. The 2000 PBS documentary "The Urban Elephant" retold the story of Shirley and Jenny's reunion.
- Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog who became best friends, Putnam Juvenile, September 8, 2009, ISBN 978-0-399-25443-7. The story of an elephant and a dog and their bond. This story was broadcast on CBS News, and then featured on newscasts and internet sites around the world.
- 18th Annual Elephant Managers Association Workshop, Fort Worth Zoo, 1997, "The Elephant Sanctuary – A Natural Habitat Refuge for Asian Elephants". Carol Buckley, Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, TN 17 min.
- USDA Lecture 2001 "The Elephant Sanctuary- History of Success".
- Elephant Managers Conference 2001 "The Elephant Sanctuary-Passive Control Management".
- AZA Annual Conference 2001 Zoos, Sanctuaries And Animal Welfare Sanctuary: A Fundamental Requirement of Wildlife Management.
- Oakland Zoo Celebrating Elephants, 2002, Carol Buckley Featured Speaker. "Asian elephant expert and co-founder of the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, discussed her life-long journey with elephants and the creation of a natural habit refuge specifically developed for elephants. Buckley also shared plans for the arrival of the first African elephants to join the sanctuary".
- An Evening to Remember Because Elephants Never Forget 2003 Maine Friends of Animals & the Maine Animal Coalition, "The Elephant Sanctuary-A Window into the World of the Majestic Elephant." 
- 20th Annual International Compassionate Living Festival, Raleigh, North Carolina 2005 The Power of One.
- The Elephant Sanctuary-A Compassionate Alternative Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, 2006, "The Elephant Sanctuary-Captive Elephants in Tennessee." 
- A Symposium on Captive Elephants: Science & Well-Being April 17–19, 2006 Tufts University, North Grafton [q]
- "Captive Elephant Foot Care: Natural-habitat Husbandry Techniques by Carol Buckley", The Elephant's Foot: Prevention and Care of Foot Conditions in Captive Asian and African Elephants, Chapter 6, Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa, USA, 2001, 172 pp, ISBN 0-8138-2820-1.
- "Sanctuary: A Fundamental Requirement of Wildlife Management by Carol Buckley", An Elephant in the Room: The Science and Well-Being of Elephants in Captivity, Chapter 6: Center for Animals and Public Policy, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, 2009.
- "The Art of Cultural Brokerage: Recreating Elephant-Human Relationship and Community Journal of Archetype and Culture", co-authors: Carol Buckley & G. A. Bradshaw, Minding the Animal Psyche, Chapter 3: volumn 83, Spring, 2010, 448 pp., ISBN 978-1-935528-07-4.
- "Tuberculosis in Elephants: Antibody Responses to Defined Antigens of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Potential for Early Diagnosis, and Monitoring of Treatment", Konstantin P. Lyashchenko, Rena Greenwald, Javan Esfandiari, John H. Olsen, Ray Ball, Genevieve Dumonceaux, Freeland Dunker, Carol Buckley et al., Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, p. 722–732, July 2006, Vol. 13, No. 7.
- "EMA Statement on Free/Protected Contact" by Carol Buckley, D. Collins, C. Doyle, G. Johnson, J. Lehnhardt, & D. Redfox, Elephant Managers' Journal (EMA), pp. 9–12, III Indianapolis, IN., 1992.
Training videos and other materials
- SAURAHA Elephant Foot Care Workshop May 2010 –Chitwan, Nepal.
- Positive Reinforcement Target Training video, level 1. August 2011.
- Elephant Footcare (video),
- "Unchained" "This is a film of the peaceful and educational activism of Carol Buckley (Founder and CEO at Elephant Aid International) about elephants in captivity and how they are trained, forced to long working hours and living in a clearly improvable conditions." 
- While daydreaming about Tarra, I recalled our first romp on a pristine beach in Santa Barbara, CA. Tarra was a spunky youngster, small by elephant standards, full of playful energy. It was early morning, the sun was just lighting up the southern California sky and the beach was surprisingly empty. Like kids off on a grand adventure we climbed over the dunes that divided the highway from the beach beyond. Tarra sunk to her knees in the dry sand with each gangly step, leaving cavernous holes in her wake. Tarra enthusiastically ran toward the ocean as the water receded. But when an underdeveloped wave crashed at her feet, she screeched to a halt and back peddled awkwardly. Squeaking gleefully, trunk curled up under her chin, head pulled down low, she got eye level with the wave. As it once again receded, her confidence returned. Ankle-deep in the foamy swirl of sand and salt water, she did not notice the new wave building. It formed quickly, rising like a cobra from the ocean floor and slapped her broad side with a crack. Caught by surprise, Tarra’s eyes flashed wide. She stood frozen for a split second, staring straight at me. I could not help it, I broke up with laughter. Recognizing the mischievous look on her face, I started running down the beach to get the jump on our ever familiar foot race. Tarra came tearing out of the water, running as fast as her stocky legs could drive her, trunk and tail fully extended like a bird dog on point. Our foot race ritual was a bonding exercise. Sometimes I let her win and other times she let me. This time it appeared that she was determined to be the winner. Slowed by the soft sand caressing our ankles, we raced down the beach, neck-in-neck, until she surged forward in a final sprint, leaving me in her dust clinching my sides in laughter. Only then did I notice we were being watched. A uniformed man standing some distance away called out, "Miss, you cannot have an elephant on the beach."
- "Without the heart to turn Barbara away, Buckley welcomed the ailing elephant to the sanctuary that April." Later Carol created "The Save Jenny Trust" to save Jenny. Lota was to be the next elephant to come to the sanctuary (in 2004).
- "In the four years since I first met Bunny, I, too, could not forget her...She stood only a few feet from the public viewing area, oblivious to the visitors yelling her name."..."As I leaned up against the exhibit railing I hoped that she might notice me. I thought that if I think hard enough she might sense that I am different from the others; that I have big plans for her." 
- "Before coming to the Elephant Sanctuary, however Sissy spent a year at the Houston Zoo and then another year at a Zoo in El Paso. Her keepers found her to be antisocial and somewhat aggressive. At one point Sissy was violently abused by her keepers. Their handling of her videotaped for in-house purposes but the film eventually found its way to the media. The video tape showed her handlers hitting Sissy who was tightly chained, repeatedly on the back of her legs with wooden bats and/or ax handles during a violent beating session that lasted several hours. If Sissy did not respond to a given command within a few seconds, the beating began again. Twice she was hit so hard her legs buckled and she fell to the ground."
- Upon notice that the City of El Paso wished to send Sissy to The Elephant Sanctuary, Carol Buckley, founder and executive director of the Sanctuary, went to El Paso to meet this notorious elephant. What she found was a severely underweight, depressed animal.
- "I would like to thank The Vancouver Sun, reporters Nicholas Read and Glenn Bohn, members of the Vancouver Humane Society, Zoocheck and local television and radio broadcasters for raising the issue of Tina, the elephant, and for mobilizing such strong support for moving her to Carol Buckley's Elephant Sanctuary near Hohenwald, Tenn. Tina is truly a special friend to all who have worked with her, and her leaving will be a bittersweet occasion for all of us. Although I am not an employee of the zoo, I am the current, contracted veterinarian."
- "Flora, an African elephant with Circus Flora, grabbed a woman with her trunk as she was dismounting from a ride and threw her against a tree three times. The woman was in a body brace for three months with many broken bones and received $468,000 as settlement of a lawsuit.
- "A 6,000-pound (2,700 kg) elephant has smashed a rookie zookeeper against a rock pile at Miami's MetroZoo, badly injuring the man in what a zoo spokesman described as an attack to test dominance in the herd....Flora was retired from a circus in 2001. The Miami zoo was caring for her until a sanctuary in South Carolina could take her in early 2003."
- Flora starred in One Lucky Elephant, a documentary film that appeared on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network as part of the OWN Documentary Club.
- "Elephant keepers know that elephants must be gradually conditioned to do activities, such as loading into a truck, but Lota was given no advance conditioning for the move. Consequently, loading her into the truck that would take her to the Hawthorn facility in Illinois was a disaster. Spectators from the local press related accounts of a chaotic situation in which Lota was beaten into a terrified state and finally, after falling onto her head and trunk more than once, was loaded, bleeding from many wounds, defecating, and urinating blood."
- "The elephants' friend; Carol Buckley runs a unique sanctuary for Asian elephants – founder of Elephant Sanctuary near Hohenwald, Tennessee – Profile" by Bill Pryor. "If all goes well, Lota will be able to come to the sanctuary and eventually enjoy the life Tarra, Barbara, and Jenny now have: grazing together, climbing in and out of their creek bed, or peacefully napping in the pasture side by side." It took 6 years before Lota was rescued. Retrieved November 4, 2011
- "In 1990, zoo officials passed Lota on to the Hawthorn Corporation in Illinois because, like many elephants imprisoned for years, she had become 'aggressive.' On the day she was forced from the only 'home' she had known since infancy, the terrified Lota refused to move and was roped, chained, beaten and dragged from her stall. Witnesses said that blood flowed from the back of the moving truck."
- "Delhi was the first elephant confiscation in U.S. history. After an extensive campaign by PETA, the USDA seized Delhi from Hawthorn Corporation and transferred her to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee after determining that she was in imminent danger from lack of veterinary care. Delhi had been suffering from abscesses, lesions, osteomyelitis, and severe chemical burns to her feet. "
- "Carol Buckley, the sanctuary's executive director, said she never imagined that the first confiscation would result in stripping Cuneo of his other 16 elephants. 'Nothing like this has happened before,' she said. 'The animal welfare laws here are weak to begin with, and at no other time has USDA actually enforced their laws like this. . . . Clearly, these actions will force elephant owners to be more careful about how they treat their animals.' Although pleased that Cuneo will lose his elephants, Buckley said she is concerned that the USDA will not be able to find new homes for the elephants because at least two of them have tuberculosis. 'Cuneo has made a lot of money on the backs of these animals, and now he's getting rid of them when they're less and less useful to him,' she said. 'Because there is TB in the herd, it's going to be very difficult to find homes for them individually or in some groups. We think they need to remain together as a herd, and that's going to be very hard to do."
- "Asia is primed for change but, for now, local leaders are unclear how to proceed," said EAI President and CEO Carol Buckley. "New legislation in India that bans elephants in circuses and zoos, coupled with the requests that EAI has received to assist with educating mahouts in Thailand and Nepal, provides us the opportunity to directly influence the welfare of elephants." "Not only will EAI help elephants in need," she added, "the care centers we develop will be a model for a country struggling to develop solutions for its elephant welfare problems."
- Paul Waldau, director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy and assistant professor of environmental and population health at the Cummings School, hosted elephant experts from all over the world at the "Symposium on Captive Elephants: Science and Well-Being" April 18–19. The papers presented at the symposium will now be revised and published in book form...."
- "The Kerulos Center- People".
- "Elevisions". Elevisions.
- Video on YouTube, VoiceForTheAnimals, January 20, 2009. "Dr Joyce and Carol Buckley speaking on Herpes". Retrieved November 4, 2011
- http://www.kerulos.org/about_kerulos/faculty.html#buckley,"Carol Buckley". . Retrieved October 11, 2011.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 23, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
- "Culture shock News: Carol Buckley – Co-Founder of the Elephant Sanctuary Introduces International Elephant Aid and www.CarolBuckley.com and Heads to Asia for Worldwide Elephant Assistance". Free Press Release.
- "Begging Street Elephants Remain A Problem". Thailand Forum.
- "Elephant Aid Internation – Newly Launched NGO – Green Chi Cafe".
- "Foot Care Report, Thailand". May 1, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
- "Foot Care Report, Nepal", April 12, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
- "Tarra the Roller Skating Elephant". Ojai History.
- "Where the elephants roam". tribunedigital-chicagotribune.
- "Elephant Aid International : Carol Buckley".
- "Sanctuary: The Tarra Story".
- "Honolulu Star-Bulletin Hawaii News".
- "For elephants, acres to roam A Tennessee refuge awaits Phila. transplant". philly-archives.
- Video on YouTube
- Failure Magazine LLC. "Elephant Sanctuary – Hohenwald Tennessee – Failure magazine -".
- Video on YouTube
- "FindArticles.com – CBSi".
- "SHIRLEY -Ele-beacon of Hope From the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo to The Elephant Sanctuary". Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- "AFTER FOUR YEARS OF HOPING, BUNNY IS HERE! A PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF BUNNY", by Carol Buckley, Trunklines, November 1999. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- "Separated From Her Mother and Family".
- "The Elephant Sanctuary : Hohenwald Tennessee".
- "Winkie's Adopter Comes To Madison".
- "The Elephant Sanctuary : Hohenwald Tennessee".
- "Elephant attacks zookeeper – From Animals in Print 24 December 2002 Issue – A Newsletter concerned with: advances, alerts, animal, animals, attitude, attitudes, beef, cat, cats, chicken, chickens, compassion, consciousness, cows, cruelty, dairy, dog, dogs, ecology, education, egg,".
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- "It an Elephant Life".
- "In November 2008, an elephant, Ned, was confiscated from a Florida circus trainer. He was thought to be underweight by a ton. He lived his last few months at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee and died in May 2009. Eight elephants from the Hawthorn Corporation, an Illinois circus operator, were moved in 2006 to The Elephant Sanctuary and two were moved in 2007 to the Performing Animal Welfare Society in California. " http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2009/08/hsus_applauds_removal_of_elephants_from_dire_conditions_082409.html Retrieved 01/11/2017
- "USDA Seizes Circus Elephants; Decree Under Animal Welfare Act Settles Charges of Improper Care".
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- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Hawthorn Corporation Factsheet – Page 1 of 11 – Updated September 8, 2011 Hawthorn Corporation (Cuneo, John), Summary of each failure to meet minimal federal standards for the care of animals
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- BLES – Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary. "Katherine's Journal – Elephant Sanctuary – Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand – BLES".
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- http://www.wctv.tv/content/news/Elephant-sanctuary-to-open-in-South-Georgia-407648895.html Retrieved 01/11/2017
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