Sarasota Jungle Gardens' animal management team


Contact:          Christine Costanzo
                        (941) 355-1112, x 313

Animals receive star quality care at local attraction:
Rosaire sisters named animal management team at Sarasota Jungle Gardens

SARASOTA, Fla. (Aug. 12, 2010) – What do the animals at Sarasota Jungle Gardens have in common with Gentle Ben, Clarence the Cross Eyed Lion and the residents of Big Cat Habitat? They are now cared for by two members of the legendary Rosaire family, nine generations known worldwide for their gifted animal training ability, their work in the entertainment and film industry, and as animal educators and conservationists.

Linda and Ellian Rosaire have been appointed as Sarasota Jungle Gardens’ new animal department managers, announced Chris Lavick, Sarasota Jungle Gardens’ chief operating officer. As the daughters of Derrick Rosaire, Sr. known as one of the world's finest animal educators and curator of the Erie Zoo (Pa.), Linda, Ellian and their siblings grew up immersed in a world focused on communicating with wild animals including lions, tigers, bears, elephants, chimpanzees and more.

Their business relationship began when Lavick opened the lines of communication with Kay Rosaire, president of the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary in Sarasota.  Kay then recommended her sisters’ appointments at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.

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 Sarasota’s Big Cat Habitat founded by Kay Rosaire in 1987.

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.

“We are thrilled to welcome Linda and Ellian as our animal department management team,” said Lavick. “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.”

For more information on opening hours, educational shows and the Rosaires call (941) 355-1112, x 313 or visit