NWA on domesticated elephants

NWA on domesticated elephants

Nature & wildlife association is in no way involved in domestic elephants, we are only engaged with wild elephants, but as we regularly get dragged into the discussions and arguments between sanctuaries and elephant camps we would like to make our position clear:

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  • we believe that both, sanctuaries and elephant camps (with a few exceptions) are businesses that generate money for elephant welfare with different business concepts.
  • almost non are ethical.
  • the propaganda by both is based on lies and misinformation.


  • All 16000 domestic elephants in Asia deserve a decent living for the rest of their lives, not just a few in sanctuaries.
  • there is no conservation value of captive elephants, except for domesticated elephants in India used by the forestry department to patrol protected areas.
  • captive elephants should not be released into the wild because in most range countries wild elephant numbers are stable or increasing, releasing them directly into the wild is not possible and of the danger to infect wild populations with widespread diseases like tuberculosis etc. from domestic elephants.
  • a total breeding ban has to be implemented across all countries to stop the common laundering of babies poached from the wild and to gradually reduce the number of captive elephants and eventually eliminate them.
  • a group comprising elephant owners/mahouts, sanctuaries, camps, specialists NGOs and government officials should be formed for each country, to draft  and later implement clear, reasonable and ethical standards for keeping domestic elephants. implementation has to be gradually to allow all to adjust (not only the wealthy sanctuaries and camps).

Andy Merk, Nani Fouad, Nature & Wildlife Association, July 8  2017


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