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Projects with Education, Travel, and Research Sponsorships

Mahout Workshop and Exchange Program

Chris Rico

Meeting, Learning, Sharing, & Knowing There are Others 'Out There' You Can Reach Out To...

This is what a Mahout Workshop is all about!

A mahout is the #1 person in a captive elephant’s life. Often there will be a close ‘second’ as backstop. These are the people in whose hands are entrusted the lives of these majestic creatures.
In 2006, the first mahout workshop was held in Sumatra, Indonesia. We could see a need for getting these people together. Often mahouts spend most of their lives in quiet, rural, sparsely populated areas, and sometimes with few, if any, other elephants and mahouts nearby. We were not sure if our invitation to attend this first workshop would be accepted or ignored, but the event ended up quite successful and proved these individuals do care, want to learn, and appreciate the ability to network with others sharing their career.
Fast forward to 2017 to the 8th mahout workshop, which was held with an additional dimension added: two mahouts from government camps in India attended the workshop in Sumatra. Mr. Vasantha from the Mattigodu Elephant Camp and Mr. Nayaz Pasha from the Dubare Elephant Camp, as well as Dr. Mamatha, from India, were all able to go. For the two gentlemen, it was their first time travelling out of the country and by plane! AES has funded the multiple workshops she has held for three government camps.

Please take a moment to read Dr. Mamatha’s report. It will bring the reality of caring for Asian elephants and helping their caregivers into focus for you and includes many pictures. And THANK YOU, for your financial support – every dollar is put into our projects and you are the one making these good moments happen.