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Jumbo Ambulance

Thursday 21 April 2011, by Ingrid Suter

Most of the 500 domesticated elephants of Laos live in remote areas of the country. Mahouts live in the forest with their elephants to source timber for hauling. Despite these geographical obstacles, ElefantAsia aims to improve the sanitary conditions of domesticated elephants by providing mahouts with access to sufficient veterinary care and training needed to care for their sick or injured elephant.

The team at ElefantAsia began Mobile Veterinary Units to provide ‘house calls’ to domesticated elephants working in remote areas. Operating in the Sayaboury, Vientiane and Champassak provinces of Laos, the Mobile Veterinary Units are especially designed to dispense medical care to domesticated elephants. Unfortunately mahouts only have basic knowledge of modern medical treatments, and their ability to access medications for their elephants is often very limited. Our veterinary team visits logging sites, tourist camps and remote villages where elephants are employed to ensure they are receiving adequate healthcare. This is necessary as vaccinations are not available, vet care is rare and medication dosages are difficult to gauge.

As a bonus, all elephant owners that bring their elephant to registered and treated by ElefantAsia receive a free Elephant First Aid Kit. These first aid kits contain basic, easily accessible medical products mahouts can use to treat their elephants immediately and independently. A book written in the Lao language is also included, and contains valuable details regarding elephant health care and management.

Each Mobile Vet Unit mission lasts 5-10 days, which is enough time for the ElefantAsia team to treat approximately 50 elephants. Missions around the Sayaboury province occur once or twice a month, with the mobile unit responding to further emergency callouts when requested by mahouts. To ensure all elephants receive proper healthcare, we offer our services free of charge.

The most common medical problems seen by the Mobile Veterinary Unit are directly related to an elephant’s work - most often abscesses, lesions, parasites and exhaustion.

The average cost of treating one elephant’s injuries is an approximate €15. You could ensure the total wellbeing of an elephant for only €60 a month!

- Assist the vet team and/or sponsor an elephant today.
- Read more about ElefantAsia’s Elephant First Aid Kits.
- Read the 2009 Veterinary Care Report.
- Check out photos of our vets in action.

- [Short presentation of the Vet Care Programme. Click on the PDF icon below] | |

PDF - 1 Mb


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