Zoo Outreach Organization &
Wildlife Information Liaison Development


 ZOO/WILD's 2017 Activities . . .

Elephant conservation welfare training for temple mahouts and cawadi


IEFPrincipal Investigator: B.A. Daniel
Grantee:International Elephant Foundation

The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments HR&CE Department in Tamil Nadu, India maintains captive elephants in different institutions including temples. A study in 2008 on the status of captive elephants in Tamil Nadu state recommended that those elephant handlers require proper training so as to improve the welfare of the temple and private elephants and this recommendation remains unfulfilled. Elephant handlers have no proper training or training opportunities though they have more than 10 years of experience with the elephants. This project is to conduct elephant welfare training programs for elephant handers of about 120 people namely mahout, cavadi, managers and other private elephant owners who handle about 40-45 elephants. Welfare of captive elephants can be developed through proper understanding of the basic biology, daily requirement, activities and behavior of the animal, proper handling, care, husbandry and humane treatment. The PI has identified three locations with in Tamil Nadu so as to cover the entire state viz., Trichy, Tirunelveli and Chennai/Kancheepuram as potential centers to conduct elephant welfare training programs in collaboration with HR&CE and Tamil Nadu Forest Department. The elephant handlers taking part in this program will receive elephant husbandry manual in vernacular language and a mahout kit. The project will develop a database of elephant handlers and captive elephant details that will form baseline information for future conservation initiatives.

Project objectives: The objectives of the project are:
• To improve welfare of captive elephants in Tamil Nadu state
• To train elephant handlers to teach about husbandry management animal care
• To create a network of elephant handers and find a way for daily reporting system