By Andy Marshall

Working with elephants will be the topic under discussion at the next meeting of Cochrane Ideas on Friday, Mar. 8, at the King Solomon Lodge 120 Centre Ave. It will start at 7 p.m.

Bob Kam, long-time elephant keeper at the Calgary Zoo, will speak about understanding and training elephants, as well as dealing with such high-profile and at times controversial zoo animals.

Using a wide range of slides, Kam will talk about elephant anatomy, especially the trunk, their size, their mating activities, birthing and health issues.

It was his love for animals that first led Kam into his career at the zoo in 1973. During his apprenticeship in animal care, three elephants arrived from Sri Lanka, and for four decades he led the team of elephant keepers.

In the course of his work, he learned, applied and taught all aspects of elephant husbandry and health care. He established a very close rapport with the largest and most intelligent animal on four legs just so that these elephants could be cared for properly.

Kam has twice been awarded a White Hat for excellence in promoting tourism for the City Of Calgary. He now is retired and, with his spouse Cindy, lives in the Ghost Valley.

Cochrane Ideas is in its 19th year of organizing discussions on a very broad range of topics. Any interested people are welcome to attend free of charge, although donations are welcome.

For further information about this event or Cochrane Ideas, contact Heinz at [email protected] or 403-851-7632. is Cochrane's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.