Lee, Phyllis C. and Lindsay, W. Keith (2020) A “halfway house” for improving captive welfare. Animal Sentience 28(14)
Liv Baker and Rebecca Winkler, Asian elephant rescue, rehabilitation and rewilding
It is certainly time to aim for higher quality management strategies for Thailand’s captive elephants, and to engage with sustainable livelihoods for traditional mahouts. Baker & Winkler’s proposal to rewild Thai elephants by placing them under the guardianship of Karen mahouts is recognized as not “wild” since it remains a form of management requiring elephants to live under the control of human caregivers. We applaud the positive welfare aims of this proposal; however, we caution that few of the long-term consequences for elephants or habitats can be known, and further considerations of elephant population dynamics and forest ecosystems are required if these proposals are to be successful for conservation and elephant welfare.