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Protected Contact Elephant Management

Protected Contact – The handling of an elephant when the keeper and the elephant do not share the same unrestricted space. Typically in this system the keeper has contact with the elephant through a protective barrier of some type, while the elephant is not spatially confined and is free to leave the work area at will.

Free Contact – The direct handling of an elephant when the keeper and elephant share the same unrestricted space. Neither the use of chains, nor the posture of the elephant, alters this definition.

PAWS uses Protected Contact in the management of all of our elephants. While many zoo elephant keepers care for other species, in addition to elephants, our nine experienced elephant keepers, as well as any current apprentice elephant keepers, do not take care of other species. Their time is devoted exclusively to the elephants. We do not utilize volunteers or interns for the care of elephants entrusted to our sanctuary.

Ed Stewart (PAWS president and co-founder) personally trains each of our keepers in hands-on, humane, bullhook-free Asian and African elephant care. This training also includes bull elephants.

We regularly utilize the services of Protected Contact management consultants Margaret Whittaker and Gail Laule of Active Environments Inc. Active Environments is a company that also provides consultation to AZA-accredited zoos throughout the United States.


More information:

PROTECTED CONTACT: BEYOND THE BARRIER

From Active Environments Inc.

Read here.

POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT TRAINING AS AN ENRICHMENT STRATEGY

From Active Environments Inc.

Read here.

View video of Gail Laule from Active Environments, and Pat Derby, using Protected Contact management on Lulu, one of PAWS' African elephants. Click here.

View video of Free Contact management system in use with Annie.

Click here.

Pat Derby talks about the latest captive wildlife news at PAWS.

 

Adopt Ray Charles
In April, 2003, officials executed a search warrant on a "pseudo-sanctuary" operated under the name "Colton Tiger Rescue" in Colton, California. During their search of the owner's residence they discovered 90 dead tiger carcasses, including 58 baby tigers dead in a freezer. Thirteen other cats were found barely alive. Then the state seized control of "Colton Tiger Rescue" where Ray Charles and 53 other big cats remained. Criminal charges were brought against the owner. Learn More»


PAWS
Performing Animal Welfare Society
PO Box 849, Galt, CA 95632

209/745-2606 office/sanctuary
209/745-1809 fax
info@pawsweb.org

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