Teaching to Improve Captive Elephant Welfare

by Jake Rendle-Worthington in 

We did it
On 25th April 2018 we successfully raised £3,185 with 55 supporters in 56 days

Performing workshops in Welfare, Handling and Safety for African Elephants in human care. Improving the quality of life of these Elephants.

by Jake Rendle-Worthington in

New stretch target

WE ARE OVERFUNDING!!! If we can reach £3,500 this will cover the costs of follow up work to ensure our teaching and our students new skills are being put to work effectively. We will also hope to see real improvements in welfare for the Elephants.  We will also be able to create promotional material to inform further about the impacts of our work and of course all you generous people will be the first to get exclusive access to this!

What we are doing:

Leading workshops in Welfare, Handling and Safety for working with Elephants kept in human care in Africa to the people that care and work directly with them.  Giving advice to managers and owners of how to improve management practices, husbandry and housing to improve the welfare of their elephants and improve working practices and safety of their employees.  Engaging with carers and owners of elephants to give them help and education in how to improve the lives of these elephants.

Who we are:

Dr. Marthe Kiley-Worthington is an Ethologist and Animal Welfare Scientist, having studied the behaviour of animals since the 1960s, as well as worked to improve welfare in domestic and wild animals in human care.  She has published numerous academic papers and several books in this area as well as having written a thesis on'Equine and Elephantine Epistemology', or how horses and elephants might percieve and understand the world.  Jake Rendle-Worthington, holds an MSc in Animal behaviour and has worked with Marthe since the 1990's with Elephants living under human care in Southern Africa.

Why we are doing this:

Many of the Elephants that we have had the fortune to work with have come into human care due to having been orphaned in wilderness areas, for a variety of reasons. Some have been captured from the wild for use by humans. We are concerned simply with making sure that these elephants lead and enjoy the best possible life they can and we believe the best way to this is to engage with those that care for them, recognising the massive commitment these people make to caring for such an intelligent, large and long lived iconic species.  We have significant knowledge and experience in doing this and are always learning more as well as working to improve knowledge and research with partners. The fact is that as human populations increase across Africa less space will be available to these iconic animals and more will come into conflict with humans or into human care. The current rate of poaching is also decimating 'wild' elephant populations and creating orphans for which human care is the only way to continue life. We therefore believe that we must educate and further understand how to provide these animals with a high quality of life so that these elephants and the elephants of the future, not only don't suffer, but have the opportunity to live lives of enjoyment and meaning in an ever evolving world. We hope that you do too and will support us in achieving this.

What our partners have to say:

“For many years now Marthe and Jake have directed and shared their extraordinary insight and carefully studied wisdoms and knowledge of Animal Behaviour in particular the elephant with the Imire Herd of Elephant and their Handlers.We have relied on Marthe and Jake’s instinctive understanding of an elephants brain and the importance of enhancing their lives, living in a semi domesticated situation. With their wisdom, guidance, practicality, sensibility,and grounded common sense, these two remarkable people have guided our Elephant Handlers into developing a position of pride, importance and safety,and above all,the Handlers have developed a deep understanding and love for their elephants, where they are now in the privileged position to be part of the trusted herd.The commitment Marthe and Jake have on the welfare of these magnificent animals and all species is quite astounding.  Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservation would like to thank them publicly for all they have done for the Imire herd and Imire Family" Judy Travers


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£25 or more

9 of 50 claimed

wooden elephant carving

This small wooden elephant carving comes either in dark or very dark wood or as a key-ring, made in Africa by artisan wood sculpters

£50 or more

Photo and letter of appreciation

A photo and letter of appreciation from one of the elephant handlers attending out course with their elephant buddy.

£100 or more

4 of 20 claimed

A signed copy of our book

Our Book 'Exploding the Myths: Mammal Welfare Handling and Teaching'. This is the book that we have published as a result of our work over the years working with mammals of all types, and serves as the main text book for our workshops.

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