Randy McKinney, DHM
Director of Operations
I was born and raised on a ranch, sort of in the middle of nowhere. And we were kind of poor financially, in fact real poor, although I did not know that at the time………. because we were very rich in the experiences of life. My wife (also ranch born and raised) and I have owned and operated two ranches where we raised organic grass finished cattle. As part of ranching, we have owned and trained lots of horses and doctored many head of horses and cattle using non drug therapies, many of which I developed. We have lived and traveled extensively throughout Alaska by airplane, helicopter, and horseback, on foot and with boats. We have seen hundreds of brown/grizzly bears and moose, thousands of caribou and many dall sheep, wolves, bald eagles……..well you get the idea. We really love ranch livestock and wild animals.
I became fascinated with elephants at a young age when a very small traveling circus came to the big town (about 400 people) near where we lived. It was held in a vacant lot where the “new” feed store now stands. And right there was the first time I ever saw an elephant, three of them. But I not only got to see them, I got to ride one. I was the first one on and I got to set up right behind her head. Those big ears came back over my legs…..and that course, sparse hair on her head; I can still feel it on my hands. I can’t even begin to tell you what a thrill that was for me! We stayed until the circus closed and then we visited with the elephant handler and I got to pet that elephant for a long time. What a fascinating experience for a little kid growing up on a ranch, light years from Africa….. or even a city zoo. If I live to be 500 years old, I will always have the fondest memories of that time in my life.
Director of International Relations
About Team AWI