Aim and Scope of this Reference Book
Management of various species of domestic animals and their healthcare have achieved considerable progress in the last few decades with specialisation in different disciplines. This applies to both commercial and companion animals. Unfortunately, the healthcare and management of elephants in range countries did not take advantage of this remarkable progress. Again, many veterinarians working on elephant healthcare in range countries are isolated from the mainstream, resulting in inadequate interaction among them and with other experts in the allied areas. In the context of fading empirical knowledge and increasing commercialisation of elephant keeping facilities with reduced attention for the basic standards of healthcare and management of elephants, the need for a good manual that prescribes the standards has become a necessity.
This book mainly intends to provide the comprehensive information on healthcare and systems of elephant management and maintenance, relevant to the Asian range countries. The information given in this book is compiled from various sources of published literature, personal communications and experiences, should act as a guideline only. The requirements of managing elephants in captivity vary from place to place in different Asian range countries and hence, judicious changes should be considered wherever required. Elephant practice, unlike the usual veterinary practice of other domestic animals, is challenging and at the same time more rewarding and satisfying. We feel that a major objective of this book is achieved if this manual can initiate, at least a few dedicated professionals and researchers into this field.
“No wild animal has served man more faithfully through the ages, yet future of the Indian elephant is as dark as that of its African cousin – if anything it is darker, for the African elephant can be eaten by many sections of the people and might be farmed for the meat, but this is not the case in India. Now that this noble animal is at a crossroads in its history with the introduction of the machine age and the rapid shrinkage of its range through settlement and cultivation, it is useful to pause and reflect on its future”
Stracey p. 218
A captive elephant with a state forest department in India