The Urban Elephant

Produced for PBS and National Geographic, The Urban Elephant gives a sobering glimpse into the world of the captive elephant.

The film travels across North America and Asia, revealing the stories of seven individuals: Raja is a 55 year-old tusker who was blinded in both eyes when caught raiding crops in his

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homeland of Sri Lanka; Barbara has spent 45 years of her life performing in the circus; Pang Taew lives in the heart of Bangkok, working the streets with her owners in search of food...

Alternately heart-warming and heart-breaking, the film also considers what the future holds for these elephants living in a human world.

Learn More:

The opening of this two-time Emmy Award Winning documentary introduces us to the lives of elephants in captivity.

From ArgoFilm's "The Urban Elephant" comes the story of Pang Dao, an Asian elephant in captivity.

The Urban Elephant: Shirley's Story



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Producer, Writer, & Director
Allison Argo

Mickey Green

Music Composition
Mark Adler

Allison Argo

Associate Producer
Hilary Sparrow

John Davey
Terry Hopkins
Dave Goulding
Rich Lerner
Erich Roland

Executive Producers
Christine Weber
Keenan Smart
Fred Kaufman

Production Manager
Debbie London-Harrington

Malvina Anderson Martin

Sound Recordists
Len Schmitz
George Shafnacker
Brian Buckley
Joseph Hettinger
John Martin

Assistant Camera
Lawrence Dodds
Doug O’Kane
Jack Reichert
Anthony Savini
Steven Tsushima

Sound Design & Mix
David Hurley - Henninger Digital Audio

Online Editor
Jeff Huey - Henninger Capitol

David Markun - Henninger Capitol

Production Coordinators - Thailand
Malin “Pom” Pongsapipatt
Paijit Kumdee
Olan Kumdee

Production Coordinators - Sri Lanka
Taya F. Diaz
Hemtours Ltd.

Special Thanks
African Lion Safari
Carson and Barnes Circus
Myles Coll
The Elephant Sanctuary
The Film Board of Thailand
Friends of the Asian Elephant
Jayantha Jayawardene
Richard C. Lair
Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo
Dr. Alongkorn Mahannop
Brande McGillis
The National Zoological Park
The Oregon Zoo
The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
Thai Airways
The Thai Elephant Conservation Center
The Warden and Staff of Udawalwe National Park
The Wild Life Department of Sri Lanka