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Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society

Ease the Tension - Quell the Conflict - Stop the Killing - End the Suffering!” Each year in Sri Lanka, human-elephant conflicts kill 80 people and 200 wild elephants and force countless orphaned and poached baby elephants into a grim, chained life in captivity. Since 1995, the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society has implemented creative solutions to human-elephant conflicts, which save elephants by helping people. We engage with people at the grassroots level and in government agencies, working systematically to build capacity, foster leadership and empower Sri Lankans at all levels to support sustainable, long-term conservation and animal welfare success.

How we helped

Our new, groundbreaking EleVETS initiative will enhance the health and welfare of Sri Lanka’s captive elephants through veterinary care training and mentorship. For millennia, Sri Lankans have maintained a sacred fellowship with Asian elephants. They are part of their culture, economy, ecosystem and traditions. Yet, there is a paradoxical reality behind this longstanding relationship: captive elephants are forced into a lifetime of chained servitude characterized by chronic pain, isolation and suffering. More than 250 Asian elephants live in captivity in Sri Lanka. Many receive no professional veterinary care. This often leads to chronic disorders: irreversible joint damage, painful foot abnormalities, parasitic disease, intestinal illness, infections and abscesses, and stereotypical behaviors—common symptoms of neglect of the complex biological, emotional, and physical needs of elephants. Lush support will allow the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) and its key partners to work hand-in-hand with Sri Lanka’s practicing veterinarians, educational institutions, wildlife management departments and elephant owners to bring about sustainable improvements in the health, care and management of captive elephants, and lay essential groundwork for the development of “New Life Elephant Sanctuary”, Sri Lanka’s first sanctuary for captive elephants. There is an unofficial motto at SLWCS: “Never let an opportunity go by that could make a difference.” With more than 20 years of grassroots success in Sri Lanka, and with the support of good friends like Lush, SLWCS is ideally positioned to lead EleVETS to success and make a lasting difference.

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