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Projects in India

Update from India

Vanessa Gagne

We first introduced Dr. Kushal Sarma in our February 2012 newsletter as the veterinarian who organized the one-day veterinary workshop in the city of Ahmedabad, India. At the Regional Asian Elephant Veterinary Workshop in March, our president and Dr. Sarma discussed a follow up visit to this location.  Recently Dr. Sarma advised that he had made an observational visit to Ahmedabad. While the health of the elephants appeared a bit better, another health clinic is definitely warranted and will be held as soon as possible.  At the workshop they also discussed a second group of elephants he thought could use some assistance. This is a group of elephants he encountered while working on a rhino relocation project in Kaziranga. Dr. Sarma has already organized a veterinary visit at Kaziranga and will be returning to operate on an elephant with an abscess on its back.

Dr. Sarma teaching at the workshop

Dr. Sarma teaching at the workshop

AES will be kept updated on the work done at these clinics, as well as further opportunities for us to help these and other elephant populations.  Many elephants reside in areas where their numbers are small and capable veterinarian assistance is not available.  In addition, many of the mahouts caring for elephants in these locations lead a very difficult life. We are looking into ways we can also help the people that care for the elephants.

Dr. Sarma demonstrating proper foot care

Dr. Sarma demonstrating proper foot care

In addition to being a working veterinarian, Dr. Sarma is also a university professor.  We feel privileged to have found a man of this talent and dedication to the welfare of Asian elephants. We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Sarma and we are grateful he is willing to put these extra clinics into his already very busy schedule.

We will keep you updated as this work progresses and thank you, Dr. Sarma!