Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Post release monitoring study

As keen supporters of the Elephant Transit Home (ETH) rehabilitation and release programme, Born Free wanted to increase international awareness of this unique project and help document the important work being conducted by the Department of Wildlife Conservation. In 2004 we began funding a research project under the University of Colombo, conducted by wildlife veterinarian Dr Deepani Jayantha. This project used radio collars to track several elephants released from the ETH in March 2004.

Systematic monitoring from the release date through to May 2006 revealed many interesting aspects of the released animals’ behaviour, interaction and adaptation to the wild. Whilst many of the animals remained in a close group with other released individuals, some quickly began associating with wild herds, and others gradually began leaving the release group to do so. Over the period of study all the animals were seen to be fit and healthy apart from one which sustained a leg injury (not life threatening) for which it was treated, after which it was successfully returned to the park. Detailed findings from the research were presented in two issues of a publication called Airavana. A poster presentation based on the research was made for the 2009 International Elephant Conservation and Reseach Symposium, and a peer reviewed journal article was published in the Journal of Treatened Taxa.




Serial publication of the project ELEMONI-SL: Juvenile Elephant Monitoring Project, Udawalawa National Park, Sri Lanka Volume I: No. 01


Volume I: No. 02 Foreword


Volume I: No. 02 Main text

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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