When you work in the field of public relations, especially on the agency side, chances are very strong that your average day is going to be more interesting than most other people’s. Why? Because the diversity of clients, their employees, and their stories are exponential and anything can happen at any minute. Very exciting!
This week, a little star quality has touched Sarasota Jungle Gardens, and in turn, touched me. Linda and Ellian Rosaire, two members of the legendary Rosaire family, have joined the attraction as the new animal department managers.
Linda and Ellian’s father, Derrick Rosaire, Sr., known as one of the world’s finest animal educators, trained well known animal stars like Gentle Ben, Clarence the Cross Eyed Lion and the animals on Daktari just to name a few.
The Rosaire family has spent their lives immersed in a world focused on communicating with wild animals including lions, tigers, bears, elephants, chimpanzees and more.
Another sister also in the family business is Kay Rosaire, president of the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary in Sarasota. She made the connection between her sisters and Chris Lavick, Sarasota Jungle Gardens’ chief operating officer, which resulted in their new appointments.
Each sister is unique and offers different talents to the animal kingdom. Recognized as a modern day “Dr. Doolittle,” Linda has a lifetime of experience caring for exotic and domestic animals. For more than 20 years, she traveled the country with her petting zoo and animal show which included a variety of animals from baby goats to bears and wildebeest. Most recently, she has provided care to the animals at the Big Cat Habitat.
Ellian Rosaire, known as an expert equestrienne, owns and manages Rosaire’s Riding Academy in Sarasota and is also the hoof stock director at Big Cat Habitat where she handles donkeys, camels and more. Ellian has also performed with, trained or cared for exotic animals including big cats, bears, buffalo, and dangerous reptiles. As Ellian says, “We have been working with animals all of our lives.”
The addition of Linda and Ellian Rosaire has also opened the door for a partnership between Sarasota Jungle Gardens and Big Cat Habitat that will provide visitors with even more fascinating animal encounters from these two attractions.
Chris is really excited about having Linda and Ellian on board. He says, “They bring a family legacy, unmatched experience, and a great respect for the animal kingdom that provide the best care for our animals as well as to set the stage for new programs that will enthrall our visitors. We can all expect exciting things to come.”
It has been a fun and interesting week, learning about the Rosaire’s family history, the sisters’ unique talents communicating with animals and what all this will mean to Sarasota Jungle Gardens.