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Elephant Aid International Improving Elephant Welfare by Carol Buckley who gives us an update on her pioneering work with captive elephants in Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
Removing elephants from the chains that have bound them for hundreds of years is a hard concept to sell in Asia. Misconception and unsubstantiated folklore reinforce strong-held beliefs, resulting in years of incarceration of these highly intelligent, sensitive, social, soulful animals. Sadly, the tradition that has enslaved elephants has proven harmful, and in many cases deadly, for humans and elephants alike.
The concept of chain-free corrals was derived from my previous work creating The Elephant Sanctuary in TN, the nation’s first natural-habitat refuge for captive-held elephants in the United States. The goal of this new project was the same; give elephants freedom of movement, an opportunity for autonomy and to socialize with conspecifics, and for the first time in their lives the freedom to make their own choices. It is a novel concept but one that has proven itself successful in authentic captive-held wildlife sanctuaries around the world.