Elephant Conservation Welfare Training for Temple Mahouts and Cawadi, India
The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department in Tamil Nadu, India maintains elephants for use in religious and cultural traditions. Following a 2008 study it was recommended that elephant handlers be given additional training to improve health and welfare of this elephant population. This project will conduct elephant welfare training programs for handlers, mahouts, cawadi, managers, and other relevant personnel working with elephants. To improve the welfare of these elephants, the programs will cover basic biology, required daily activities, animal behavior, proper handling and husbandry, first aid treatments, conservation issues, and humane treatment. All handlers who take part in the program will receive an elephant husbandry manual and a mahout kit. A database of elephants and caretakers will be compiled with the intention of creating a mobile app to monitor the welfare of the elephants in the future, aiding in sustainability and monitoring.