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Elephant First Aid Kits

Wednesday 22 June 2011, by Ingrid Suter

The team at ElefantAsia are celebrating the distribution of “Elephant First Aid Kits” to mahouts throughout the Sayaboury Province of Laos.

When logging elephants work in remote areas they are often isolated from villages and cannot receive medications if they are sick or injured. This leaves some elephants with appalling, yet easily preventable wounds and illnesses. ElefantAsia’s Elephant First Aid Kits are waterproof boxes containing basic medications and medical supplies. With the Elephant First Aid Kits, mahouts can now administer immediate and effective treatment to their elephants when far away from veterinarian care.

Examples of items in the first aid kit include:
- Broad-spectrum antibiotics that can be sprayed directly on to an elephant’s skin
- Iodine used to treat fresh wounds
- Anti-bacterial powders used for dressing and treating wounds
- Cleansers for elephant eye infections
- Ointments for the prevention and spread of bacteria
- Gauze compresses to manages cuts and to clean areas
- An illustrated, practical guide to caring for elephants, published in the local Lao language. This guide will soon be replaced with a comprehensive manual on elephant care

A handing-over ceremony was held on the 21 October between ElefantAsia, the General Director of the Department of Livestock & Fisheries Dr Bounkhoung Khambounheuang, and the Director of the National Animal Health Centre Dr Boulom Douangngeun. “We would like to extend our appreciation for ElefantAsia’s usefulness in helping protect the domesticated elephant in Laos” said Dr Boulom. “We will continue to provide support for their wonderful projects”.

ElefantAsia believe all domesticated elephants in Laos should be given access to medications and health care, regardless of where they work. All mahouts will eventually be equipped with an Elephant First Aid Kit, as well as given training in how to use the supplies within the kits. ElefantAsia’s Mobile Veterinary Care Unit will travel around Laos to logging and tourist camps distributing the kits for free.

The International Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) kindly donated US$17,000 towards the first aid kits. This is enough to fund 400 kits, enough for the majority of domesticated elephants in Laos. Thank you RSPCA!

Travel Indochina have also been new supporters of our amazingly successful program, to whom we extend a big khop chai lai lai! (Thank you very much!)

- To support the Elephant First Aid Kit program donate to ElefantAsia.
- Further information on ElefantAsia’s veterinary care programs

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