Principles of Elephant Management II

Hosted by Houston Zoo 
Houston, TX
Late October 2017

Course Description

Principles of Elephant Management II focuses on the skills necessary to safely accomplish all of the AZA-required elephant behavioral components. Live training demonstrations and hands-on experiences will be utilized to combine the teaching of advanced elephant principles with best occupational safety practices. To provide students with the most valuable hands-on and personalized experience, enrollment in this course is limited to 12 participants.

Course Topics & Instructors

  • Occupational Safety
  • Standards and Protocols
  • Behavioral Components
  • Enrichment
  • Tools/Equipment/Facility Design
  • Medical Management
  • Elephant foot care
  • Elephant Reproduction/Birth Management/Calf introductions
  • Successful Elephant Program Components

Bryan Amaral, Zoological Manager, Elephants, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Karen GibsonSavanna Curator, Dallas Zoo
Daryl Hoffman
, Curator of Large Mammals, Houston Zoo
Sharon Joseph, Director of Welfare, Denver Zoo
Mike McClure, General Curator & Elephant Collections Manager, Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Nick Newby, Supervisor of Pachyderms, Oklahoma City Zoo
Tracy Clippinger, Veterinarian, Smithsonian National Zoo

Target Audience

AZA accreditation standards require that the designated elephant manager at each AZA-accredited institution keeping elephants complete this course. This course is applicable for elephant managers, curators who oversee elephant programs, and elephant keepers who have completed Principles of Elephant Management I.


Principles of Elephant Management I (PEM-I) must be completed prior to this course. Those who took PEM-I prior to 2003 (in 2002 or before) are required to retake the course prior to completing PEM-II. At this time, only elephant managers at AZA-accredited elephant holding institutions are eligible to enroll in this course.

Tuition & Expenses*

The AZA registration fee covers tuition, course materials, and meals provided during the course. Other expenses include hotel and travel arrangements. Scholarship funding is available through a competitive process.   

Early Bird Rates
$950 for AZA Individual Members
$1050 for Non-members
Registration deadline: 12 weeks prior to course start date

Regular Rates
$1050 for AZA Individual Members
$1150 for Non-members
Final registration deadline: 4 weeks prior to course start date

*Prices are subject to change

Accepted forms of payment for registration are by: credit card, check or purchase order. Interested individuals will be able to view further details and register for the course from this page starting in spring 2017. 


First Day
 - Student registration
 - Opening evening ceremony
 - Courses meet for individual opening session/class

- Class meets all day

Last Day
- Classes meet
- Closing Ceremony

Travel & Accommodations

Houston has two major airports, George Bush International (IAH) and William P. Hobby (HOU), both approximately 40 minutes from the hotel and Houston Zoo. Shuttle service between the airport and the hotel is available through SuperShuttle.

Course participants stay in designated hotel and are transported to and from the zoo each day.

Please wait until you are admitted into the course before making your reservations. You will receive a confirmation letter containing detailed information regarding your accommodations and transportation once you are admitted.

Questions? For additional details please contact the AZA Professional Development Department 

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