In September 2018 we were able to help fund Dr. Pham Van Thinh from the Daklak Elephant Conservation Center in Vietnam to travel to Myanmar for “An Elephant Healthcare and Welfare Workshop.” The focus of the workshop was to educate and demonstrate how positive reinforcement can be used in conjunction with veterinary care by adding familiarity and reward to novel situations. There were 25 participants from 13 different countries that met at the Green Hill Valley in Myanmar. Participating countries included: Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Netherlands, US, England, Germany, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
This week long course provided hands on training for the participants with topics ranging from basic body condition exams to diseases and treatment. Much like humans, preventive and routine screenings play a vital role in healthcare. For these sometimes daily and non daily occurrences, training can be used with elephants to promote a positive experience towards their own healthcare. The workshop was also able to cover routine preventative topics such as foot care management while including more in depth discussions such as sedation, medication dosing, and blood analysis. Pham Van Thinh was able to bring home new information he gained to Vietnam and meet new colleagues and friends.