Clayton is the ninth generation descendant of England’s premier animal handling family – the Rosaire’s – in a continuation of the family’s rich tradition of man among animals. Tracing the animal-handling lineage to the 1800’s, one can see that this is not just your average family business. It is indeed a labor of love!
As the first U.S. born Rosaire progeny, young Clayton first entered the cage to face the large cats alone at the early age of 17, making him the youngest lion and tiger trainer at that time in the world. Clayton follows a rich family heritage in which mutual respect between man and beast is the key to a harmonious and rewarding experience.
His animal training and performance skills have helped him become an acclaimed trainer throughout the world. His mother Kay instilled in young Clayton the very same presentation style for which she is so well known: friend rather then foe, reward rather than fear to coax the big cats into a sequential routine of natural behaviors upon command.
The Rosaire’s have long been noted for rescuing and offering a safe haven at their sanctuary, the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, a 501©(3) Non-Profit Organizations that take in mistreated and unwanted animals.
Life at the Habitat
As you might imagine, life around the Rosaire household is not a typical situation. When raised from birth around large exotic big cats, playtime for young Clayton proved a bit different than for most youngsters his age, as photos from the family’s album make evident. And Clayton, simply from this experience, grew up a bit different as well.
“Fearless,” his mother Kay remembers, “even from the earliest age. And the cats he played with seemed to recognize that fact, as well.”
Clayton’s lifetime goal and commitment is in the conservation of these majestic and endangered big cats. You might have seen Clayton on the Family Channel, the Oxygen Channel and in the New York Times. His most recent accomplishment is filming a pilot for the Discovery Channel, documenting the Rosaire family’s relationship with animals.