NEWS

Elephants! A 17 year Journey from Audubon Zoo to Southeast Asia – 
Susan Mikota and Hank Hammatt to present Nov. 25, 2017 at Audubon Park Zoo in New Orleans .  For more information please see the Audubon Announcement 

“Wildlife Tuberculosis: An Emerging Threat for Conservation in South Asia”

Dr. Mikota contributed to this book chapter which discusses the conservation challenges posed by TB and the urgent need for further research. Lead author Dr. Jeewan Thapa and co-author Dr. Sarad Paudel both served as TB Program Officers for the ECI supported Nepal Elephant Healthcare and Tuberculosis Surveillance Program. Link: http://www.intechopen.com/articles/show/title/wildlife-tuberculosis-an-emerging-threat-for-conservation-in-south-asia.

The Voice for Asian Elephants Society

The Voice for Asian Elephants Society (http://www.vfaes.org/) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to end elephant slavery and protect the endangered Asian elephants that are being captured illegally from the wild. VFAES’s founder and president, Sangita Iyer is an award-winning journalist and documentary film maker. Her film, “Gods in Shackles” which reveals the dark side of cultural festivals in southern India where temple elephants are exploited for profit has won multiple awards.

Dr. Susan Mikota (ECI’s Director of Veterinary Programs and Research) has recently joined VFAES’s team as a member of their advisory board (http://www.vfaes.org/our-team). 

Is tuberculosis a threat to elephants in the wild?

Until recently, TB had never been reported in a wild elephant. Then in 2013, TB was diagnosed in a wild African elephant that had been under human care at an orphanage. In 2015 TB was found in a wild elephant in Sri Lanka. Now in 2017 four cases of TB in wild elephants in India were reported in the on-line journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. Dr. Mikota discusses the threat of TB to wild elephants in this invite CDC podcast: https://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/player.asp?f=8645613

You can also read the 2017 reports in the March issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases: 

Zachariah A, Pandiyan J, Madhavilatha G, Mundayoor S, Chandramohan B, Sajesh P, et al. Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Wild Asian Elephants, Southern India. Emerg Infect Dis. 2017;23(3):504-506.  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/23/3/16-1741_article

Chandranaik B, Shivashankar B, Umashankar K, Nandini P, Giridhar P, Byregowda S, et al. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection in Free-Roaming Wild Asian Elephant. Emerg Infect Dis. 2017;23(3):555-557. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/23/3/16-1439_article

Can Acupuncture Help Elephants?

Elephants in captivity often suffer from debilitating arthritis. Anti-inflammatory drugs can help for awhile but elephants often become refractory to their effects and arthritis remains one of the main reasons elephants are euthanized in the U.S. Dr. Mikota has been studying acupuncture in the hopes that this may provide ab alternative or complimentary therapy for elephants that suffer from this painful condition. The following book chapter was published earlier this year:

Mikota SK. Acupuncture in Elephants. 2017 In: Practical Guide to Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine Volume 4. Exotic Animals. eds. Xie, H., and Ramirez, H. Reddick, Florida. Chi Institute Press.
Pp. 297-323.

An Elephant Acupuncture Chart developed by Dr. Mikota is also available from the Chi Institute

MOU signed with the VELS Institute of Science, Technology, and Advanced Studies

Elephant Care International has signed an International Memorandum of Understanding with the VELS Institute of Science, Technology, and Advanced Studies in India. The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at VELS is developing an Elephant Research Centre. Elephant Care International will share information and serve in an advisory capacity to help identify research needs.

Elephant Formulary Updated

Our Elephant Formulary, a compendium of medications for elephants has recently been updated.