As many as 16,000 Asian elephants–one third of the entire population–are captive. In India alone, about 3500 elephants live in various and often critical conditions of captivity, contradicting the contemporary notions of wildlife conservation and animal welfare.
The Elephant Code Book examines the current methods of elephant keeping and recalls the historical background that is necessary to understand the present situation. It reviews the classical texts on the subject as well as the relevant scientific literature in order to define the principles, methods and minimum standards to be adopted as a code of conduct in the management of elephants in captivity.
This text is the result of 16 years of personal experience in elephant camps and amongst mahouts in distant parts of India. Moreover, it was revised by several renowned specialists of the Asian elephant: S.S. Bist, Raman Sukumar and B.C. Chittiappa. The Elephant Code Book is intended as a handy reference tool for Forest Department officers, wildlife activists, private elephant owners, temple trustees, circus managers, zoo directors, veterinary doctors, traditional mahouts, elephant keepers and all those who can make a difference in the lives of captive elephants.
The Elephant Code Book systematically and comprehensively addresses the shortfalls in captive elephant management in India. In an eminently readable and easily comprehensible style it lays out remedies, some that can be implemented immediately and others that involve more long-term behavioural changes within society as well as changes necessary in policies and laws.’ A. N. Prasad, IGF and Director (Project Elephant), Ministry of Environment, Government of India.
ELEPHANT CODE BOOK by Prajna CHOWTA, 138 p. 2010.Back