SOCIAL PROBLEMS AND ECONOMIC POTENTIALS OF DOMESTICATION OF ELEPHANT AS A MEAN OF ELEPHANT CONSERVATION IN SRI LANKAAuthors: A.M.S.T.Athauda
Loss of elephant habitats appears to be the main reason that leads to human elephant conflicts in most parts of the Dry Zone in Sri Lanka. Capturing and domestication of wild elephants is identified as one of the means of elephant conservation which promote the coexistence between humans and elephants that existed for generations. However, with the recent structural changes in the society and the economy such as mechanization and increased wage rates, captive elephant conservation may not be attractive as it was before. With this background, this study aimed at identifying the social as well as economic problems, and suggesting possible remedies that help to promote domestication of elephants.
The study was based on collecting the data from a survey and discussions with key informants. The survey was comprised of a mail survey based on structured questionnaire and face-to-face interviews. The study found that since elephants are reared in Wet Zone, feed availability is not a major problem. However, most of the elephant owners have to make payments for the feeds. Indigenous, western or both veterinary practices are used for captive elephants. Generally, a single mahout is used to control an elephant and most of the mahouts live below the poverty line. Most of the elephants in homegarden are reared for prestige, while temples and devalas keep elephants for ceremonies. Hotels and orphanages rear elephants with the intention of attracting tourists. When compared costs and revenues, orphanages and hotels enjoy with marvelous profits. Thus hotels that receive profit can rear captive elephants, where there is a demand for elephant safaris, rides, etc. In addition to that, tamed captive elephants can be used to establish an elephant park, which is a win-win solution for both owners and people who take pleasure from elephant related activities.
Keywords: Economics, Elephants, Domestication
How to Cite: Athauda,A.M.S.T, (2006). SOCIAL PROBLEMS AND ECONOMIC POTENTIALS OF DOMESTICATION OF ELEPHANT AS A MEAN OF ELEPHANT CONSERVATION IN SRI LANKA.WILDLANKA, 1(1):Pages 001-015
Department of Wildlife Conservation,
No: 811/A, Jayanthipura,