Could World Series winning manager Tony La Russa be coming to California to work with elephants at the Performing Animals Welfare Society sanctuary?
Not likely, but the Galt-based nonprofit was the first to offer him a job after he announced his retirement Monday.
La Russa touted the opportunity on “The David Letterman Show” that night.
“I actually got a job offer, I swear,” he said on air. “There’s a group called Performing Animal Welfare Society just outside of Sacramento, and they offered me a job as an elephant keeper. I told them I’d interview. I’m all for it.”
PAWS co-founder Pat Derby could not be reached late Tuesday. However, the organization posted links to the TV show on its website.
La Russa is a longtime PAWS supporter.
He also runs his own animal rescue foundation, or ARF for short, by providing food and shelter to animals that otherwise would be euthanized. It is based in Walnut Creek.
La Russa founded the organization after he rescued a stray cat that had wandered onto the Oakland A’s field in the 1990s. Realizing after the game there weren’t any no-kill animal shelters in the Bay Area at the time, he started his own.
The commute to PAWS wouldn’t be too far. La Russa makes his off-season home in Alamo, with his wife, Elaine, one bunny, five dogs, five mice and 14 cats, according to the ARF website.
Last week, PAWS announced it will be welcoming three new African elephants to its sanctuary in San Andreas in the coming weeks. The animals are being transferred there from the Toronto Zoo.
Tuesday also marked the fourth anniversary of the famous airlift of Maggie, one of PAWS’ current elephants. She was flown from Anchorage, Alaska by the U.S. Air Force, to her new home in Northern California.
“That was certainly one of the most harrowing moves in our experience, but all went well, and Maggie is enjoying the California sunshine with her African elephant buddies,” PAWS co-founder Ed Stewart said a press release.