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ELEPHANT CARE UNCHAINED IS A NON-PROFIT organization dedicated to eliminating cruelty and improving elephant welfare in their native countries


Stephen Koyle has spent more than 29 years caring for animals.  He has spent the last 17 years specializing in elephant care. Throughout his career Steve has traveled around the world inspiring future elephant keepers, zoo teens, animal rights activists and zoo board members.   His passion and work ethic have driven him to form ELEPHANT CARE UNCHAINED.


In May of 1999, Steve earned a degree in Zoology from Michigan State University. Early in 2000, Steve began working at the Wildlife Waystation in Los Angeles CA.  There he cared for numerous exotic animals including Chimpanzees, Lions and Tigers.  In March of 2002, Steve began working as an elephant keeper at the Phoenix Zoo.  It was at the Phoenix Zoo that he began honing his skills as an elephant keeper.  In Nov. 2004 while working at the Phoenix Zoo Steve attended European Elephant Management School in Hamburg, Germany. In Feb 2011, Steve attended AZA's Principals of Elephant Management. He was an instructor for elephant care workshops at the Phoenix Zoo in 2007,2008,2009, 2011,2013,2015.  Steve has become an expert and very well respected for his knowledge of target training using positive reinforcement, designing facilities that support elephant health and specializing in proper elephant foot-care.


Steve’s original conception of ELEPHANT CARE UNCHAINED was born in early 2013 when he made his first trip to India as a skilled volunteer with Wildlife SOS. Wildlife SOS is an organization that rescues all native Indian wildlife including elephants.  It was there that he learned about the cruel treatment of elephants in their native countries.  The brutality that elephants endure on a daily basis was something Steve felt compelled to address. It was after this eye opening experience Steve decided to commit his life to improving elephants lives globally.  He has now established ELEPHANT CARE UNCHAINED, a 501c3 organization dedicated to eliminating cruelty and improving elephant welfare in their native countries.


Based out of Chandler, Arizona

CEO / Founder / President: Steve Koyle



Peggy Shannon    Vice President

Cincinnati, OH


Ilene Kastel   Secretary

Chicago, IL


Jodi Jones   Treasurer

Tempe, AZ

Armando A. Pina, PhD. Anxiety and Trauma Expert and Scientist

Department of Psychology

Arizona State University, Tempe AZ


Special Thanks to our mentor Alan Roocroft of Elephant Business Inc.

elephant care Unchained around the world 




by Mahout Guruvayur Kirshnankutty


Never in my life I shall love a man

for my existence means captivity and sadness

My memories tell me of the forests

They are far away

My crying is silent

A sea of sadness and the fire of anger are within me

In my thoughts, revenge is like burning lava

Yet, to break my chains will forever remain a dream

I long for the forests

Never in my life I shall love a man

I beg you, free me from this hell. 


*translated by Peter Jawggi in Living Gods in a Living Hell published in 'Gods in Chains' by WRRC

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