June 2016

Supporting the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries.
Elephant and Tiger Veterinary Workshop in Kerala, India

February 1st-4th, 2016, Asian Elephant Support’s president, Linda Reifschneider, attended the Regional Asian Elephant and Tiger Veterinary Workshop at Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University in Pookode, Wayanad, Kerala, India.  This event was hosted by the Centre for Wildlife Studies, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, in collaboration with Parambikulam Tiger Conservation Foundation, Forest and Wildlife Department, Government of Kerala, and Asian Elephant Support.  The workshop is supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Asian Elephant Conservation Fund.

Veterinary expertise is crucial to conservation efforts, and this workshop provided the opportunity to share experiences regionally, provide practical training, build local and regional capacity in elephant and tiger veterinary care, and enhance veterinary expertise needed for effective conservation.

Workshop participants 

The workshop looked at wildlife health from the ecosystem perspective and afforded the opportunity to discuss topics such as disease spillover from humans and/or livestock to wildlife, emerging diseases and/or disease prevalence, as well as reducing stressors in the environment.

In addition to meeting and hearing from some experienced elephant veterinarians previously unknown to AES, it was also very interesting to listen to those veterinarians working with tigers in range countries. This majestic creature is now facing yet another challenge, as habitat loss brings domestic canines into proximity, offering up the very real threats of distemper and rabies.

Dr. Arun Zachariah, one of the veterinarians in India AES has funded, co-chaired this event with AES consultant Heidi Riddle.  In addition, Dr. Zachariah presented on emerging diseases in Asian elephants, as well as post-mortem techniques in Asian elephants and tigers.

Dr. Christopher Stremme presented on the work he is doing in Sumatra (work AES continues to help fund) and also participated with Dr. Dennis Schmitt in a demonstration of ultra-sonography in Asian elephants.  Dr. Khajohnpat Boonprasert (“Dr. Yeaw”), who has helped us help wildlife department veterinarians in Vietnam, recounted the work being done at The Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang, Thailand.  And Dr. Zaw Min Oo, who AES has worked with in Myanmar, also presented.

Dr. Stremme performing an ultrasound

Dr. Meenakshi Nagendran, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, discussed the global population status and conservation of programs for both Asian elephants and tigers and Sri Ajay Desai, IUCN Asian Elephant Specialist Group, discussed human/wildlife conflict relative to Asian elephants and tigers as well as the ecology and evolution of Asian elephants.

The papers session ended with an evening showcasing amazing demonstrations of sand art, followed by a traditional fire dance.

The workshop ended with a planned field visit to the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, which has wild tigers, elephants, and other wildlife.  Dr. N. Kalaivanan led the field visit to the Mudumalai elephant camp, sharing camp management protocols with workshop participants from outside the area, as well as introducing us to camp staff and some of the camp elephants.  Dr. Kalaivanan also gave a presentation during the workshop on the chemical immobilization and translocation of Asian elephants.

Learning…..sharing…..networking…..  It is efforts such as this that grow long past ‘the event’.  Having not only another email address, but knowing the face and the expertise of that new contact to share ideas with and ask questions of – this is what helps move the care and conservation of Asian elephants (and tigers!) forward.  Your support well invested and for which we thank you most sincerely!

Elefriendly Bus Update from Sri Lanka

The Elefriendly Bus in Sri Lanka is already up and running and changing the lives of humans and elephants in a village near Wasgamuwa National Park.  The first rides were given this past May 23rd and the route is now used daily by school children, farmers, pedestrians, and cyclists.  We are so happy that we could be a part of helping people coexist peacefully alongside elephants.  If you would like to learn more have a look at this video!

AES Outreach Volunteer Speaks Out for Asian Elephants!

Kristin Windle is an elephant keeper at the Houston Zoo where she has worked for over 2 years.  Her brother-in-law, Josh Lara, is Assistant Principal at Drew Intermediate School.  Last semester he asked Kristin if she would be interested in talking to his 6th Graders about elephants.  Shortly after that, Kristin talked with AES’ President about helping to support elephants in any way she could.  When Linda mentioned how important outreach is, Kristin immediately thought about her brother-in-law’s inquiry!  April 28th Kristin gave three presentations to good-sized 6th grade classes about elephants, talking both about the Houston Zoo Asian elephants she works with and the work AES is doing in the field.  

Kristin, we thank you, the Houston Zoo elephant barn, and Josh Lara and Drew Intermediate School for this wonderful opportunity to reach out to this group of youth and share both the wonders and needs of the magnificent Asian elephant. Thank you!!!

And to our other Outreach Volunteers, or those who would like to join this special corps, please contact us and let’s talk about groups you can help educate and enlighten about these wondrous pachyderms!

Did you know you could get rid of that old rust bucket you’re no longer driving? Donation Line will accept ANY vehicle you’d like to get rid of…  whether it be an RV, a boat, or even an airplane. Imagine clearing all that space in the garage or driveway.  It’s a win/win for you and the endangered Asian elephant.  

In fact, just last month we received $628 from supporters donating their vehicles; funds that can be applied to any of our current projects from the CRUs in Way Kambas to the Elefriendly Bus.  So get to that long put off home organization and get a head start with a vehicle donation.  

Visit our website for more information. 

AES Mission

  • Provide financial support for the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries that meet our criteria for care of captive elephants and for conservation of the species.
  • Increase awareness of the needs and future of the Asian elephant.
  • Increase awareness of the humane treatment of elephants living in captivity.
  • Provide educational opportunities to those persons who care for captive Asian elephants in range countries.
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Test Your 

Did you know that
during the Ice Age people made
flutes using mammoth ivory?  
To learn a bit more and hear it,
check out this short video.  

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 “For in the end, we will conserve only what we love.
We will love only what we understand.

We will understand only what we are taught.” 
-Baba Dioum
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We  wish to extend a very sincere thank you to each donor who has voted their support with a financial gift. We value that confidence and will always do our best for the animals we all care for so deeply.

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