Janice Aria from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus Talks about Robert in “Water for Elephants”

On the topic of circus elephants, “it’s hard to match me for enthusiasm,” said Janice Aria, Director of Animal Stewardship for Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
Having worked with pachyderms since the early 70′s, when Aria “ran away and joined the circus,” the 61-year-old is passionate about the floppy-eared beasts. Elephants have captured the public’s imagination from the Victorian era, when P.T. Barnum bought Jumbo from the London Zoo, to just this Spring, when an elephant named Tai embodied Rosie, one of the main characters in the movie “Water for Elephants,” starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon.

“Elephants do remember you and form bonds with you,” she said. “They pick who they like and who they don’t like, and if they don’t like you they’ll throw food at you. All elephants look for good leaders — they are herd animals like horses and dogs — they will pick a leader who gives them food, finds them water and gives them safety.”

Aria gained a glimpse into the filming process for “Water for Elephants” because she is longtime friends with Tai’s trainers and owners.

Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon (lead characters in the film) had been so lovely to work with, and so impressed with the elephant,” she said.

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This entry was posted on September 14th, 2011 and and is filed under Internet/Bloggers, Movies, Press, Water for Elephants. Get RSS feed for comments on this post or the for this article.

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