Growing up in a small town in Texas, Debra’s lifelong passion for Africa was always a bit of a puzzle to her. It finally made sense once she discovered she was adopted from her birth mother who had lived in the Congo as a child. Debra’s birth grandparents were missionaries there in the 1930s and had even rescued and tried to raise a young elephant. Saving elephants is truly in her blood. When it came time to name the foundation, she only had to look to her birth family’s surname, Havens, for inspiration.
Scott was introduced to Africa by Debra on their honeymoon. He had a passion for the wild as a youth that ran headlong into the working world. After decades behind a desk, he found that in Botswana and other areas of sub-Saharan Africa the human footprint was light, there was much to protect and preserve, and there was local enthusiasm for doing so. He quickly developed the same passion for elephants that his wife had always known. A reformed workaholic, he now joins Debra on as many of her regular trips to Botswana as he can while continuing to work full-time as a lawyer in Texas.
Boago, or “Bee”, has been part of Elephant Havens from the very beginning. He is a third-generation elephant handler who was raised in the bush by his handler father and grandfather. Bee is also a licensed safari guide and a naturalist. In his past years working at Abu Camp, he supervised a healthy breeding herd who lived as wild elephants during the day while returning to the boma each night. There he learned how to raise these deceptively fragile orphaned elephants to adulthood. At Elephant Havens, Bee will manage our team of handlers and oversee all aspects of the rescue and care of our elephants.