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October 11, 2006
Hamburg(Germany) zoo director Dr. Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck and British elephant trainer Alan Roocroft teach keepers and handlers how to care for elephants in captivity-at the First European elephant Management School.
Here, elephant handlers from around the world come together for nine days every year to learn about the needs of elephants in captivity and how to overcome their own apprehensions. Many participants may have been working with elephants for years, but few
have actually touched them, felt a young elephant's unruly bristles or stroked the bumpy skin at the tip of its wet nose.
Elephants will be kept at zoos as long as zoos exist. Currently around, 1,700 are in captivity, 1,000Asian elephants and 700 African ones. Many zoos cannot give elephants the care they require because they lack both space and money. Foot care, Trunk rinses
and taking blood and urine samples to determine hormone levels are standard procedures.
Elephant handlers from all over the world flock to Hagenbecks in November every year to learn what makes zoo elephants happy!