Elephant Aid International : Projects

Elephant Care, Rehabilitation and Retirement Centers

Location: India and Nepal

Elephant Care, Rehabilitation and Retirement Centers

Elephant Aid International’s long-range goal is to partner with NGO's in Asia to create elephant care,  rehabilitation and retirement centers.

Why in India
In November 2009, the Central Zoo Authority mandated that all elephants be removed from zoos and placed in alternative facilities better suited to address their needs. The problem is, wildlife parks and game sanctuaries feel ill equipped to take these elephants, believing that zoo elephants are not good candidates for the semi-wild lifestyle their facilities provide.

In August 2010, the Elephant Task Force of India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests issued a 186-page report entitled Gajah, Securing the Future for Elephants in India. The report reviews the issues facing the country’s elephants today, including the needs to:

  • mitigate human–elephant conflict
  • open corridors to allow elephants free movement between their natural habitats
  • upgrade research on and monitoring systems of elephant numbers, demographics, distribution, density and land use
  • curb poaching and the international ivory trade
  • improve the care and welfare of captive elephants
Why in Nepal
Government and NGO owned elephants are used for anti-poaching patrol in Chitwan National Park to protect wildlife. They are the first line of defense against poaching. Presently no retirement program exists for working elephants. In collaboration with the forest department and a local NGO we plan to create retirement facilities for elephants that are injured or too old to work.
 
What
State of-the-art care, rehabilitation and retirement centers.

Designed to provide freedom of movement, a healthy social environment and autonomy, care, rehabilitation and retirement centers are similar to what Americans call sanctuaries: a place:
  • where elephants come to escape the abuses of captivity.
  • that supports rehabilitation of elephants suffering from physical and psychological trauma.
Tourism is not a component of care centers.

Setting Our Sites Where
Karnataka and Assam, India and
Sauraha and Bardia, Nepal
 
How
EAI is using the successful model of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee as a basis for the first care and rehabilitation center.

January 2012
Our First Proposed Project
In collaboration with the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Bannerghatta, EAI set out to design a care center on private land in Bannerghatta, in four phases:
  • land - located
  • infrastructure development
  • staff training
  • elephant relocation

 

   
Each stage would require cooperation from a variety of governmental and private agencies. A preexisting facility on 30 acres of land with a significant amount of required infrastructure was offered for the project. Remaining infrastructure requirements include:
  • additional fencing
  • shade structures
  • corral areas for rehabilitation, medical care and positive reinforcement target training
  • a small veterinary lab
  • an administrative office
  • housing for mahouts
During three months of on-site research, EAI discovered potential problems and was made aware of significant land issues. The project was placed on hold until further research could be completed.
 

UPDATE

April 2012

Unfortunately our proposed elephant care center project in Bannerghatta has experienced insurmountable road blocks. We were unable to acquire the parcels of land required for the project and our collaborating partner was unable to secure government permission for the project. EAI has decided to abandon the project at this location.