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Projects with Education, Travel, and Research Sponsorships

Filtering by Tag: Thailand

Dr. Aung Myint Htun - Asian Elephant Workshop in Thailand

Vanessa Gagne

This past summer we were happy to help Dr. Htun participate in the Asian Elephant Health, Reproduction and Breeding Management Workshop in Thailand.  The workshop was divided into three portions: one week online, one week examinations, and lastly, one week hands-on practicals in Thailand.  Dr. Htun was able to learn about foot care in addition to ultrasound checks for pregnant elephant cows.  


The Regional Captive Asian Elephant Working Group Meeting

Vanessa Gagne

The meeting was held at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chiang Mai University, June 11-12, 2015.  Asian Elephant Support was delighted to be able to fund Dr. Vanthinh Pham’s attendance at this meeting.  You may recall most recently AES, with the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, sent Dr. Khajohnpat Boonprasert and two senior mahouts from The Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang, Thailand, to Vietnam to assist Dr. Pham in the treatment of the young wild bull, Jun, whose foot was badly damaged by a snare.  The mahouts also helped demonstrate to the Vietnam mahouts, who had little experience with wild elephants, how to help calm and better manage Jun for safe and effective medical care.

The meeting at the Chiang Mai University addressed establishing a comprehensive strategy and long-term plan for improving the management systems within elephant tourist camps across Southeast Asia.  Attendees also had the opportunity to share and learn from each other’s experiences and promote the best practices in elephant tourist camp management, and to build a network of captive Asian elephant experts who can work towards the goal of establishing and monitoring improved management systems in tourist camps.

Dr. Pham found the presentations that addressed setting up medical buildings with laboratories, health care, feeding and training for elephants, as well as mahout training most informative and was able to return to the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Center in Vietnam with many useful ideas.

We at AES believe assisting those helping elephants develop friendships with others doing likewise is an important way to improve both the care the elephants receive as well as the knowledge and confidence so important for the veterinarian and mahout.  We couldn’t do this without you.  Thank you for your confidence and support!

Conservation Education with Think Elephants International

Chris Reifschneider

Think Elephants International (TEI) is a non-profit organization that aims to conserve Asian elephants through scientific research and education programs. TEI's founder, Joshua Plotnik, PhD, has been studying elephant cognition for the past few years. Two of his most notable studies scientifically prove that elephants can self-recognize, and are capable of complex cooperation.

Last year, TEI started an after school club for middle school students in New York City that taught students the scientific research process, as well as the importance of environmental conservation. Through the use of Skype, these students saw what life was like for elephants and their mahouts (caretakers) in Thailand. This club also had several guest speakers, and took a field trip to the National Zoo to get an up close and personal experience with the elephants.

Because this was such a success, TEI is looking to expand their program globally. They will especially focus on implementing the program in Thai schools, as young Thais have great potential for conserving their elephants and their environment. These students will get a full understanding of the complex situation that many Asian countries are facing by focusing on topics ranging from culture and language, to perceptions of animal welfare and conservation interests. Through this experience and education, these students will be better prepared to deal with the issues surrounding Thailand and its environment when it is their turn to make the decisions.

AES awarded TEI $2,000 for the purchase of an Apple computer and a television that will be used in Thai schools to help educate students about the importance of elephant conservation. Part of AES's mission statement is to increase awareness of the needs and future of the Asian elephant, as well as to provide educational opportunities to those persons who care for captive Asian elephants in range countries. We are very excited by the potential TEI has to positively shape the future of captive and wild elephants and the people with whom they share land.

For more information regarding TEI, please visit their website at: