The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee


Employment Opportunities

Lead Elephant Caregiver

The Lead Caregiver position is a working, front-line supervisory position. This position implements policies and procedures established by The Elephant Sanctuary with direction from the Director of Husbandry. Provides and supervises daily care of elephants, utilizing positive reinforcement to manage elephant behaviors.

Roles and Responsibilities
Elephant Care

  • Oversight and implementation of daily diets in accordance with animal care protocols and related safety guidelines.
  • Observes/notes consumption; distinguishes/reports significant changes in consumption.
  • Establish and implement personnel schedules to ensure appropriate coverage for all aspects of elephant care.
  • Oversees implementation of foot care program.
  • Observes and ensures Caregiver staff able to appropriately interpret and report signs of elephant health and well being to Director of Elephant Husbandry.
  • Assists Veterinary staff in assessments of animal health and implementation of preventative care and other medical care.
  • Oversight and implementation for browse provisions.
  • Oversight and implementation of environmental enrichment.
  • Ensures that all Caregivers safely, efficiently and, with the elephants behavioral responses in mind, effectively able to shift or move elephants within their barn, into or out of their barn, or within habitats.
  • Trains elephant to new or maintains pre-existing behaviors to facilitate blood collection, trunk wash, pilling, foot care, or implementation of other husbandry or veterinary procedures to ensure the health and well-being of the elephant.


  • Conducts training of all new Caregivers. Trains and supervises Caregivers regarding infrastructure and vehicle maintenance, feeding, foot care, animal observations, record keeping, ordering and stocking supplies and any and all areas relevant to the elephant Caregiver position. Oversees and evaluates progress.
  • Assists Director of Husbandry in establishing annual goals for Caregivers and carries out annual performance reviews; conducts periodic progress reviews between annual reviews.
  • Leads Caregiver team meetings with Director of Husbandry.
  • Assures all inventories are maintained at an adequate level.
  • Maintains daily logs and record keeping.


  • Consistently ensures/checks containment infrastructure (e.g. fence, gates) and trains staff to ensure elephant containment. Monitors and ensures infrastructure in constant working order; reports breakage/failures in a timely manner.
  • Provides and oversees daily cleaning and upkeep of elephant facilities, including but not limited to barn service areas, elephant stalls, habitats, and any other related infrastructure.
  • Makes minor repairs to infrastructure.
  • Performs basic maintenance on vehicles; ensures the safety of all vehicles at all times.


  • Implements safety procedures in compliance with PC management (i.e. Caregiver position relevant to elephant position, etc.)
  • Observes established protocol in regards to TB and other related safety precautions as necessary. Ensures safety protocols are adhered to at all times, by all employees.
  • Participates in elephant escape and other emergency practice protocols and drills.
  • Actively participates as member of Emergency Response Team.

Job Requirements and Prerequisites

  • Bachelor’s Degree in related field and five years experience working directly with elephants on a full time basis OR equivalent relevant work experience.
  • Experience in Protected Contact setting, preferred.
  • Prior experience supervising and training others.
  • Knowledge of elephant behavior and physiology, preferred.
  • Ability to perform elephant foot care, preferred.

Physical Demands

  • Must be able to stand/work for 8 hours in all weather conditions.
  • Must be able to lift 50lbs repeatedly during loading/unloading supplies.
  • Must be able to drive, or learn to drive, large farm equipment.
  • Must be able to perform repetitive manual tasks, (cutting produce, pressure washing, raking).


At-Will Employment: The State of Tennessee and The Sanctuary recognize all employment to be 'at-will'. This means that you, the employee, as well as The Sanctuary can terminate employment at any time, with or without advance notice and with or without cause.

Equal Employment Opportunity: It is our policy to treat you and all employees equally without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, veteran status, or disability.

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Free Workplace: The Sanctuary is a drug, alcohol, and tobacco free workplace and prohibits all employees from using non-prescribed drugs, alcohol, or tobacco in any form while on duty.

Employees are subject to E-Verify to assure they are eligible to work in the United States.

Forward your resume and cover letter to the Human Resources Department at

Email: or
Fax: 931-796-7493

No telephone calls please. All applications will be held in strict confidence.