Phalke, Sagarika (2020) Rewilding elephants: A solution or a potential problem?. Animal Sentience 28(15)
Liv Baker and Rebecca Winkler, Asian elephant rescue, rehabilitation and rewilding
Baker & Winkler (B&W) provide a comprehensive and systematic review of Thailand’s captive tourist elephants. They propose rewilding as a solution to improving the welfare of captive tourist elephants. They also advocate this method for restoring degraded forests, elephant conservation and preserving traditional elephant-keeping practices and knowledge. This commentary argues that rewilding might exacerbate negative human-elephant interactions and impede conservation efforts. While further research is required for rewilding to be considered a viable and practical solution, B&W’s focus on documenting traditional knowledge which can directly contribute to the welfare of captive elephants remains important.