Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Projects in India

Filtering by Tag: elephant

Field Update from Dr. Sarma

Vanessa Gagne

A field update from Dr. Kushal Sarma:

I have just returned from a hectic trip. An elephant corridor was mistakenly allotted for an industry.  The fallout: a two month old calf falls into a 12’ ditch dug for construction of a shed.  The mother tries to rescue the baby and also falls in.  Another female comes to their rescue and also falls into the ditch.  The third elephant was not injured much and when machinery sliced off one side of the ditch, she was able to move out.  The mother of the calf had head injuries and was unconscious until I arrived.  Triamcinolone acetonide, mannitol and neurotropic vitamins did not help.  It was determined her lumbar spine was broken and she had a cerebral concussion.  She could not be saved.  The calf was rescued and sent to a rescue center as he needed to be fed formula.

The following two days I organized health camps for 14 private elephants: 4 in Sonitpur district and 10 tourist elephants Kalita’s camp at Kaziranga National Park. There were two minor operations as well as the regular deworming and vaccinations.”

While we wish all field updates had happy outcomes that sadly is not the reality of the Asian elephant in range countries today.   We are happy to be able to help Dr. Kushal and all the caring and dedicated veterinarians we work with – who are there to help, regardless the situation – and thank you so very much for your support!

 

Elephant and Tiger Workshop

Vanessa Gagne

Regional Asian Elephant and Tiger Veterinary Workshop in Kerala, India

Dr. Arun Zachariah1, 2; Heidi S. Riddle3

1 Centre for Wildlife Studies, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Science University; 2 Department of Forest and Wildlife, Government of Kerala; 3 Asian Elephant Support

P9220612 (2).JPG

Elephant and tiger veterinarians from around Asia participated in the Regional Asian Elephant and Tiger Veterinary Workshop held in Pookode, Kerala, India, from February 1-4, 2016.  This Workshop was jointly hosted by the Centre for Wildlife Studies, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Science University, and the Department of Forest and Wildlife, Government of Kerala. The Workshop was supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Asian Elephant Conservation Fund in collaboration with Asian Elephant Support.

The Regional Asian Elephant and Tiger Veterinary Workshop continued the efforts of two earlier regional Workshops hosted in Aceh, Sumatra-Indonesia in March 2012, and in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar in March 2014.  These Workshops build local and regional capacity in elephant veterinary care which improves the expertise needed for effective wildlife conservation in Asia. The Kerala Workshop included tiger health issues to broaden the scope of wildlife health and strengthen the capacity of field veterinarians in range countries.  Asian elephants and tigers are highly endangered and in threat of local extinction in some range countries.  Veterinary expertise is important to conservation efforts, especially at the interface of wildlife, humans, and livestock, and for mitigating human-wildlife conflicts.  The Regional Asian Elephant and Tiger Veterinary Workshop addressed wildlife health from the ecosystem perspective and discussed topics such as disease spill over from humans and/or livestock to wildlife, emerging diseases and/or disease prevalence, as well as reducing stressors in the environment.

Evidence of emerging diseases in wildlife has already been established in Kerala.  Furthermore, in the past two years, Kerala experienced more than 200 cases of elephant and tiger conflict incidents causing loss to human life, property, and agriculture; 44 of these incidents required health and veterinary expertise.  Wildlife health studies have been ongoing in this region, and this Workshop served as a catalyst for networking with the wider regional communities of wildlife health experts in Asia.

Presentations covered not only veterinary issues but also broader topics of human-wildlife conflicts, Asian elephant and tiger ecology and behavior, and also introduced Siberian tiger health issues.  The Regional Asian Elephant and Tiger Veterinary Workshop hosted almost 70 participants, including representatives from many of the Asian elephant and tiger range countries such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, as well as veterinarians from Great Britain, and U.S.

The Workshop offered a field visit to a nearby protected area, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, which has wild populations of elephants and tigers.  Additionally a Forest Department elephant camp is located in the Reserve.  Participants were able to view wild elephants during a drive through the Reserve.  At the elephant camp, Forest Department staff discussed the camp elephant management and feeding strategies, as well as elephant health issues.  This visit was a unique opportunity for participants to see the traditional use of Forest Department elephants in a protected area in India, and discuss the comprehensive veterinary program that the Department has in place for these working elephants.

These Regional Veterinary Workshops underscore the importance of veterinary science for wild and captive elephant and tiger conservation in Asian range countries.  As a result of these three workshops, there is better communication amongst wildlife veterinarians in Asia, and the sharing of information and experiences has increased.  Additionally several field course initiatives to continue practical training opportunities for wildlife veterinarians in Asia have resulted from these Workshops.

 

2015 Sonepur Mela

Vanessa Gagne

Billboard advertising the Sonepur Mela

Billboard advertising the Sonepur Mela

A GATHERING OF ELEPHANTS: The Sonepur Mela, Bihar, India
 

The Sonepur Mela, also known as the Harihar Kshetra Mela, is held every year during November-December and is Asia’s largest cattle fair.  The major attraction is the trading of livestock such as horses, bulls, buffaloes, camels, dogs, and birds.  Elephants are also a special attraction of the Mela.  

Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) has been conducting health camps for captive elephants in the town of Sonepur since 2001 and AES was able to help support the 2015 health care camp.  Attendance has been spiraling downward from 92 elephants in 2001 to only 14 in 2015, a decline of 84% in 14 years. This is mainly due to increasing regulations regarding the movement, sale, and trading of captive elephants.  

During the Mela, WTI will de-worm all the elephants, treat any minor wounds, and give the mahouts instructions on foot care.  Data is also collected each year to record the status of elephants participating in the Mela.  Responses from owners and mahouts showed that the average length of time a mahout cares for the same elephant is 4.18 years, which is not considered sufficient for good bonding between mahout and elephant.  However, all elephants were reported to be obedient and none of elephants had any history of killing or injuring a mahout.  Of the data collected, one was a temple elephant, four worked in the tourist industry, and six were unemployed.  All elephants had some sort of shelter at their area of residence, both day and night.  All except one was off tether for at least some portion of each day and the mahouts claimed all the elephants are walked during the day.  Only one elephant was kept in a group of more than one elephant, 11 have some opportunity to interact with other elephants, and three could not interact with other elephants.

Mahouts take measurements on a bull to estimate weight

Mahouts take measurements on a bull to estimate weight

While the results of the information gathered at the Mela leave us with at least as many questions as answers provided, it is important to track such statistics as we consider the current status and future of India’s magnificent Asian elephants.  If you would like to read more the report from the 2015 Sonepur Mela, please visit our website here.  Our thanks to YOU, our donors, for supporting these efforts.

 

Hope for Elephants in India!

Vanessa Gagne

Our collaborative campaign with Hope Elephants, “Partners for Pachyderms”, has come to an end and we are thrilled to say it was a success!  We surpassed our goal and raised $2105 for Dr. Kushal Sarma’s Elephant Healthcare and Emergency Response Program in Assam, India.  We are truly grateful to everyone that has made it possible for Dr. Sarma to continue his  amazing work for these elephants.