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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chris Gallucci: Elephant Man

Quite some time ago I made a post or two or three about when I lived in California and did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren’s Shambala Preserve.  One of the people working there was (and still is) Chris Gallucci.  When I first met Chris I was told he wasn’t very friendly and would tell you to go “f” off as much as say hello.   So I watched Chris… Chris was the Elephant Man…he took care of Tippi’s Elephants.

I also took pictures of Chris and Timbo whenever I was there, and for what it’s worth..I liked Chris!  He was an X-hardcore biker.  He also, from stories I heard, had been in jail a number of times….but no matter what was said about Chris, he loved those Elephants..especially the big Bull, Timbo.  You could see it in how he cared for him and you could see that he put all his love and being into Timbo.  Anyone who couldn’t see that had to be blind.

I came across the fact that a book had been put out about Chris and Timbo. Elephant Man. It’s mostly photographs taken by a professional photographer named Nomi Baumgartl… Let me show you some of her photos from the book.. I took photo’s when the book is opened and they aren’t great and I apologize to her for that..but here they are..

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When I worked at Shambala Chris didn’t have a white beard! ..gads when did I get so old?

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chris3[1]

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 chris5[1]

When I saw this photo in the book I got a smile a mile wide… it’s MY photo!!!!!! I took the picture along with others and gave them to Chris.. I was thrilled that he was able to make use of it!

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Now..… below are photo’s I took of Timbo and of Chris some 15 or 18 yrs ago when I did volunteer work at Shambala..… I took the pictures of Chris and Timbo because I wanted Chris to have them…and I have been forever glad I did.

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again.. these are snapshots of color Xeroxed pictures I have that are also in page protectors, so not the greatest but it was easier for me to do it this way.

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This is the Chris I knew….

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If an elephant can really love someone… Timbo loved Chris.

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his back pockets were always ready with carrots for Timbo

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So this is Chris.. he was a young man on a downward spiral that got saved by a big elephant.

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and Timbo… his savior

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Man and Beast… a love story.

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A few years ago Timbo passed away.  Chris had to make a life altering adjustment, but in the end he stayed at Shambala and still helps Tippi with all the other wild animals , but I am sure there is a hole in his heart as big as a certain African Bull Elephant.

If you’d like to learn a little more about Shambala just click the link.

7 Comments:

Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I remember him from my Visits there, Pat....I LOVE that took so many pictures of him and of Timbo, as well....AND, how great that one of your pictures is in the book!

The loss of Timbo had to be devistating to everyone at Shambala, but, particularly to Chris....Such a very deep deep loss! And you are so right, this man was saved by Timbo---and of course, Tippi...Her understand and knowing that Chris would be so good with Timbo---That was rather Miraculous!

7:05 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

naomi.. I am glad Chris found something worth pulling himself away from what was obviously going to be his early death and found such love with Timbo. I am surprised he is able to go on there at Shambala..he wasn't a 'people person" and Timbo was everything to him. I find myself wondering if he'd want to care for another elephant if one came along to Tippi.. I'd love to see the documentary that was filmed about Chris and Timbo...most people forget that there were 2 elephants..the other named Kura I believe (not sure of the spelling)

6:16 AM  
Blogger Cath said...

What a lovely post and story. And wonderful that one of your photos got into the book!

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

had to come here to see the pictures. For some reason they didn't show up on my lj. Great story and glad you were personnaly involved back then cause the tale became even better with your input. Thanks for sharing.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

What wonderful animals elephants are...and what a wonderful person Chris must be.

Lovely story, Deslily...great memories for you. Great pics.

3:43 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Cath: actually it was shocking to see my photo there..after all this book was mostly photo's from a professional photographer and I'm not one! lol

Sher: sorry they didn't show up on LJ glad you got to see them though...

Lee: Tippi gave Chris a chance and Timbo did the rest.. I'm glad I have the memories too.

5:52 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

What a beautiful book and story and how wonderful that you were apart of it. I do believe that animals can heal humans and this is a perfect example of one who did!

3:07 PM  

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