Captive Elephants

Talk on Asian Elephnat in Captivity

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 26, 2007

Forum Post

Talk on ‘Asian elephant in captivity:Past, Present and Future’

The Wildlife Trust of India takes great pleasure in inviting you to a talk
on the ‘Asian elephant in captivity: Past, Present and Future’ on October
2, 2007, by one of the pioneers of studies on the Asian elephant, Dr. Fred

Dr. Kurt, member of the Asian Elephant Specialist Group of IUCN, has been
a lecturer of Population Ecology and Conservation Biology at the
University and the Pedagogic High School of Zurich, Switzerland, and at
the University of Veterinary Science, Vienna, Austria. He has carried out
field studies on elephants and other large mammals in Ethiopia, India,
Indonesia, Morocco, Myanmar, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and Switzerland.  Since
retirement, he has been involved in the First European Elephant Management
School at the Hagenbecks Tierpark in Hamburg and the European Elephant
Group. He is the joint author of the book “The Asian Elephant in
Captivity” by the Cambridge University Press, India in 2007.

Dr. Kurt’s talk will consist of a power point presentation and two short
films. Details of the talk are given below:

Date: October 2, 2007
Time: 6:45 p.m.
Venue: Casurina Hall, India Habitat Center, New Delhi

For details please contact Kadambari Mainkar at or

Captive Elephants

Trade underground

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 11, 2007

Forum Post

Researchers estimate the captive elephant figures in India to be around 5000, while the official figures are 3500. Ambiguity in numbers and a ban on interstate trade has pushed elephant trade underground.

Kerala and Assam have now appealed to Central Govt. to simplify rules of trade. Kerala has also passed rules for captive elephant management. "Project elephant" is on way to mocrochip captive elephants in order to have a database for tracking animals.

All the above and opening up elephant corridors could be the only way to save these pachydems in the wild!

Source: Times of India

Captive Elephants

Festival elephants in Kerala

Posted by Susan Sharma on April 02, 2007

Forum Post

March /April is the time for temple festivals in Kerala where hundreds of elephants are displayed as part of the festivities.

Increasing competition among festival committe owners to showcase the majestic elephants and the clashing of festival dates cause the bid for majestic elephants to go up from Rs 25,000 per day to Rs 50,000.

Despite the soaring demand for elephants, private owners refuse to accept that they are making huge profits. The special feeding and medicare sessions prior to festival time cost upto Rs 2 lac.

Is it time we started looking at some of our traditions more critically?

( economic figures source: The Hindu 1st April)

Captive Elephants

Elephant Management School in Europe!

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 11, 2006

Forum Post

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!

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