How to make humane things that seem inhumane:
Assam has roughly 1500 captive elephants of which nearly 200 are with the forest department and rest are privately owned.
But recently the Government of Assam, under the leadership of Sarbananda Sonowal has worked on trying to create the necessary knowledge on the importance of training captive elephant calves in a humane manner without the use of force and coercion. Trust and mutual affection should be the base of a relationship between the animal and its trainer.
The Goverbment got along the winner of the Eureka Prize for Science, Dr McLean who emphasised on positive reinforcement for every correct response.
Dr Prabhat Basumatary, Forest Veterinary Officer, has been attending the training since 2011 and he was in “all praise” of this humane procedure of training captive born calves. He opined this to be adopted as the method of training captive born calves from now on.
Here is to hoping our big jumbos are given the respect they deserve and a fruitful relationship is built between nature and culture.
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