Meet Willie Theison, an elephant whisperer from Pittsburgh Zoo who has formed remarkable relationships with elephants – some of whomare considered so dangerous, no one else will take them on.

programme information


1 x 60'

Production Company

Bocella Productions





Episode Information

Willie Theison is an elephant whisperer. At Pittsburgh Zoo he’s formed remarkable relationships with elephants – some of whom were considered so dangerous, no one else would take them on. We follow Willie and his team as they prepare for the births of two new baby elephants. But one of the mothers is Moja, an elephant who killed a handler in the past. With Willie’s support, Moja was able to continue her life at the zoo and given an opportunity to start her own family. But there are still concerns about how the birth will affect her behaviour. Worldwide, the African elephant population has fallen from 1.6m to less than 600,000. In addition, the captive African elephant population in the US faces extinction without an expansion of breeding programs. Through Willie, Pittsburgh Zoo is taking the lead to face this challenge, but will it be too little, too late? This remarkable film documents Theison’s beautiful relationship with nature at its most dangerous, and its most graceful.

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