Chris Gallucci and Timbo


News and Events About Chris Gallucci


Chris Gallucci Talks About His Life at the Shambala Preserve, November 19, 2016

Last Saturday evening, November 19, 2016, Chris Gallucci gave a photographically laced talk about his fascinating experiences at the Shambala Preserve since Feb. 5 1975.

Beginning with working on the movie ROAR in almost every capacity, when it was known as "The Ranch"......Chris worked on every faze of keeping big cats content in captivity, from building enclosures to feeding, and getting to know the Wild Ones, close and up personally.

By the time the two elephants, Timbo and Cora came to live at the ranch Chris was well ensconced as a permanent figure. He knew everything about the operations and most of the animals and their trainers. The most fascinating of them were the two elephants, Timbo and Cora. The two huge beings were being cared for by a professional trainer who when offered a job with a larger pay check, left the elephants in the barn. Period. Chris came to my then husband and me asking if we would give him a chance to work with them. Without hesitation, knowing his work ethic, we unhesitatingly said yes. Best, fastest decision we could have made. From then on it was history, the two pachyderms had the best friend they could have dreamed of having, Chris Gallucci.

For many years, the three of them were inseparable, especially during rare times of health problems. It was awesome to witness the lengths to which Chris would go in order to keep the huge beings warm, safe, healthy, content and amused.

Timbo and Cora were a major part of The Shambala Preserve and the lives of all of us, those of us who cared for them, those who cared about the Preserve, the Adoptive Parents, our visitors, but mostly, Chris Gallucci. This is his life. He saved the elephants and they saved him.

We have all been the beneficiaries from this amazing duo, with lifelong memories to share. Chris will be talking about his life with Timbo and Cora forever, stay in touch with us for his next dissertation on these two fabulous personalities!!!!!

Happy Holidays to all of you,

With so much love,
From all of us at Shambala,
Animal and human.........



Shambala Members Fall Celebration, October 27, 2013

Chris at the annual party for Shambala's Roar Members, along with Tippi and Melanie (he loves his job).




Shambala Sunset Safari, September 29, 2012

Chris greeted Shambala's celebrity guest, Eileen Graff. She played the roll of the mother on TV's "Mr. Belevedere". She also starred as Sandy in the original Broadway production of "Grease". Her acting history includes numerous other rolls on stage and screen.



Shambala Members Fall Celebration, October 27, 2012

Chris at the annual party for Shambala's Roar Members, along with Tippi and Melanie (he loves his job).




Shambala Sunset Safari, September 29, 2012

Chris greeted Shambala's celebrity guest, Eileen Graff. She played the roll of the mother on TV's "Mr. Belevedere". She also starred as Sandy in the original Broadway production of "Grease". Her acting history includes numerous other rolls on stage and screen.



Shambala Members Fall Celebration, October 27, 2012

Chris at the annual party for Shambala's Roar Members, along with Tippi and Melanie (he loves his job).




Shambala Sunset Safari, September 29, 2012

Chris greeted Shambala's celebrity guest, Eileen Graff. She played the roll of the mother on TV's "Mr. Belevedere". She also starred as Sandy in the original Broadway production of "Grease". Her acting history includes numerous other rolls on stage and screen.



Pasadena Land Rover Visits The Shambala Preserve, September 22, 2012


Malaika Marquee, August 25, 2012


Shambala Sunset Safari, August 25, 2012


August's celebrity guest was Charlene Tilton of "Dallas."

Shambala Sunset Safari, July 28, 2012

Guest Ben Mankiewicz with Tippi and Chris

Chris and vet Dr. Gay Naditch take a look at Zeus.

Whitey goes to the vet: Shambala Preserve works very closely with vets Dr. Jon Bernstein and Dr. George Antoun during an office visit in April.

Monday, April 2, 2012 was the day of a press conference held at Shambala to discuss H.R. 4122 "Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act of 2012." Tippi Hedren, Chris, bill sponsors Congressman Buck McKeon and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, along with Directors of several other animal organizations, met to discuss the need for this vital piece of legislation.

Chris Gallucci, Congressman Buck McKeon, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Tippi, and Bobbie Brink (Director of Lions, Tigers and Bears)

Congressman McKeon and Congresswoman Sanchez, Chris, Tippi, and Tammy Thies, Director of The Wildcat Sanctuary

Chris with HGTV star Michael Payne at Sunset Gower Studios

Highlight Hollywood Reports on Chris and John's Award!

Tippi Hedren Presents Film Makers with Award for Best Documentary Short for “The Elephant Man Journeys.” Having recently been honored with the Award of Excellence as well as Best Editing at the LA Movie Awards, Chris Gallucci and his brother John Gallucci, added the honor of Best Documentary Short for “The Elephant Man Journeys” at the recent Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood, which was presented by actress and activist, Tippi Hedren.

“The Elephant Man Journeys” is about love, honor, respect, dedication, sacrifice, and a promise. A promise to an elephant 30 years ago that Chris Gallucci would stay with him until the day he died. “This not just a story about a man and an elephant. This story is about a person with no destination, a person with a huge hole through the middle of him. It took an elephant to fill that hole,” Ms. Hedren tells Highlight Hollywood exclusively.

Salvation and friendship come in many different forms, but few as strange and beautiful as that of Timbo the African bull elephant and Chris Gallucci, the Elephant Man. Their friendship spawns a lifetime's vocation, which endured for almost 30 years.

Timbo, the gigantic bull elephant, immediately fascinated Chris and when the film's elephant trainer quit, he immediately applied for the job. “Someone told me that the elephant was the largest animal that walked the earth,” Chris says. “I knew I had to have a piece of that.” To win the pachyderm's trust that first night, Chris chained himself up beside Timbo in his enclosure and threw away the key. That was the start of the 30 year long relationship; one which tamed the savage in Chris.

“My life before here was craziness,” Chris recalls, “and even if you're afraid, you can't show it. And so then, here [at Shambala], that fits like a glove. My background probably helped me in the position that I'm in now. I'm ready for anything.”

Chris and Timbo's story began to be told, in the Animal Planet cable network's documentary on Shambala, Life With Big Cats. Guests who visited the Preserve saw how he interacted with Timbo and Kura. Eventually, he and Timbo were the subject of their own documentary, The Elephant Man (aka Tusks and Tattoos), which has been shown worldwide.

Following Timbo's death in 2005, Chris has continued to work as Preserve Supervisor at the Shambala Preserve, later becoming Vice President in Charge of Operations. In October 2009, Roar Foundation President Tippi Hedren relinquished her additional title of Executive Director, and honored Chris with that position.

In June 2009, Chris kept a promise he had made to his elephant friends, journeying to Africa to lay Timbo and Kura's spirits to rest in their natural habitat. The trip enabled him to understand them in a way he never could while they were in captivity.

“The Elephant Man Journeys,” has been chosen as an exclusive official selection for screening in our 2011 ITN Distribution Film & New Media Festival in NYC.
FESTIVAL DATES: November 17th  and 24th
SCREENING SCHEDULE - The schedule for the ITN Distribution Film & New Media Festival will be posted on soon.
SCREENING VENUE - Festival screenings will take place exclusively at Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th Street in Manhattan (NYC)
OPENING NIGHT KICK OFF & HONORARY CEREMONY will be held on Thursday, November 17th, and Highlight Hollywood will be there!
ITN Distribution Film and New Media Festival is held in November 2011 in New York, NY. It is organized by one of the most successful independent film distribution companies in the world today helmed by Stuart Alson. In the last year, Alson has executive produced Brutal starring Peter Greene (The Mask and Pulp Fiction); and Mysteria starring Danny Glover, Billy Zane, Martin Landau and Michael Rooker.
Photograph (John Gallucci, Michael Payne( Host-Designing for the Sexes), Tippi Hedren and Chris Gallucci, John Gallucci producer and Chris Gallucci director, won Best Documentary Short as producers of "The Elephant Man Journeys") By Bill Dow, Ms. Hedren's Personal Photographer

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett


The Roar Foundation Members Fall Celebration, October 22, 2011
On Saturday Oct. 22 a good time was had by all at the annual Membership Party held at the Shambala Preserve. Among those in attendance was Academy Award winning writer ("Gladiator") David Franzoni and his wife Nancy. Many thanks to everyone who attended for helping the Shambala Wild Ones. Without you and your support Shambala would not exist.

"The Elephant Man Journeys", Screening and Award Presentation, October 12, 2011
Chris Gallucci and his brother John Gallucci were honored at the Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood receiving the award for Best Documentary Short, "The Elephant Man Journeys". The award was presented to Chris by Tippi Hedren.



Shambala Preserve "Sunset Safari", September 24, 2011
The Shambala Preserve held three "Sunset Safaris." All three were a smashing success, and the September one even featured a surprise visit fron Tippi's granddaughter, Dakota Johnson.

Arroyo Grande Auto Show, San Luis Obispo, July 30, 2011
Rear: Doug Brown, Chris Gallucci, Harlan Böll
Front: Alison Arngrim, Jule Newmar, Tippi Hedren

"Thriller Jacket" Auction. Julien's Auctions, June 26, 2011

The jacket that Michael Jackson wore in his "Thriller" video was auctioned off at Julien's Auctions of Beverly Hills. A portion of the proceeds were to go to the Shambala Preserve, where Michael's tigers, Thriller and Sabu, currently live.

This highly publicized event was well-attended, with Chris and Tippi Hedren right in the spotlight.  "Just doing my job," explains Chris.

Reception at Julien's Auctions, June 23, 2011

Martin Nolan and Darren Julien of Julien's Auctions, with Tippi Hedren

Meggie Hale with Tippi

Darren Julien with Tippi

Tippi and Chris Gallucci with
photo of Thriller and Sabu

Tippi with Thriller jacket

CNN Interview

Chris & TippiRoar Foundation President Tippi Hedren and Shambala Preserve Director Chris Gallucci were recently interviewed by CNN Local Edition Anchor Brad Pomerance about the reason and purpose of The Shambala Preserve in regards to captive exotic felines. The interviews will be aired on CNN Headline News during the first 2 weeks of July, 2011.

Elephant Documentary Promotion

On January 20th Tippi Hedren and Chris Gallucci attended as co-hosts and panel members a media screening of the documentary film, “Elephants and Man: A Litany of Tragedy.” The event hosted by Kat Kramer was also attended by such luminaries as Billy Bob Thornton, Lily Tomlin, Ed Begley Jr., Cher, and the film's producer Melya Kaplan.



Chris' Trip to Austria, February, 2010:

"It has fired the magic within me, and that is what we are looking for. I just got back from Salzburg, Austria. The purpose of this trip was to give inspiring speeches and appear at the opening of an art gallery. My first stop was in the church of an Austrian Prison (what a tough crowd). Me, Chris Gallucci standing in a church, in a prison. It was too much like a dream and not a very good one.

"Thank God, there was more – next I went to a school for young, aspiring artists. In that speech I knew I had really reached the children. The children loved it and I loved telling my story to them. I felt it was good. They responded with excitement. One little girl especially – she came up to me and said, “I will never forget you or your story. You must be a great man!” Then that night I went to the opening of the new art gallery in Salzburg which featured photos of Timbo and me. Another little girl, dressed up like she was going to the Oscars fought her way through the crowd, grabbed my hand and placed a note in it. She said her mother drove her here to the event to meet me. This little girl said she was having trouble dealing with a problem. She had lost someone very near and dear to her and after listening to my story, she said she knew now that she could deal with any problem that might come her way. Why? Because the magic is inside. She said thank you and walked away.

"PS: It’s the Chris and Timbo thing – we are still going and it feels great. Moments like this make me proud to be 'The Elephant Man'."

Chris Gallucci journeyed to Africa with his long time friend, photographer Bill Dow, to produce photos for his upcoming book, a sequel to "The Elephant Man." Stay tuned for updates.
The bike
The rider
The journey begins
On the quest
Close encounter
On elephant ground


Chris at The Roar Foundation's Magic Castle Event
January 16, 2010

Host B. Harlan Böll, Tippi Hedren, Chris Gallucci

Photographer Bill Dow with Tippi and Chris

Chris (front) with Romi Dames, Tippi, Kate Linder and Alison Arngrim


All photos by Bill Dow, 2017 the Roar Foundation
No images may be removed from this web site without written permission from the Roar Foundation
This page last updated 5 September 2017