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Projects in Sumatra, Indonesia

Mahout Workshop 2017

Chris Rico

For several years AES has been proud to support the Indonesian Mahout Workshops and this year is no exception. However, the 2017 workshop was unique in that it brought together two groups of mahouts from different countries that are both supported by AES.

AES has supported Mamatha’s tireless work in southern India to provide educational opportunities for mahouts.  This year Mamatha arranged for two mahouts from the state of Karnataka to attend the Indonesian workshop.  It was a wonderful opportunity for the two cultures to share information and experiences.

The 2017 Mahout Workshop was held from May 16th through the 18th in Lampung province, Indonesia and included a wide range of topics including the overall health, feeding strategies, the use of an ultrasound machine, use of GPS units and software updating skills, and incorporating technology into their operations.

Workshop participants

Workshop participants

Because India has such a long and intricate history with elephants, the Karnataka mahouts were surprised to learn that the elephant tradition in Indonesian is only about 30 years old.  Even with a much shorter history with elephants, the Indonesian mahouts provided valuable information on the importance of the use of technology and the proper usage of tools to care for elephants.

Two Karnataka mahouts (right) being instructed on the use of a GPS unit by two Indonesian mahouts (left)

Two Karnataka mahouts (right) being instructed on the use of a GPS unit by two Indonesian mahouts (left)

In turn, the Karnataka mahouts stunned the vets when they visually determined that an elephant had never conceived. They also taught the Indonesian mahouts the importance of proper feeding strategies, allowing elephants to roam freely in the forest, and the importance of cleaning the tusks.  There was also a lot of discussion on caring for baby elephants. 

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This workshop is an excellent example of how important it is to provide these types of educational opportunities. With your continued support, we will continue to support the people that care for elephant throughout Asia.