Elephant Care international has been working in Nepal in 2006. Our main focus has been combatting tuberculosis (TB) which has claimed the lives of government elephants critical to patrolling national parks.
Working together with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) and the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), we helped developed programs to identify and treat TB-infected captive elephants and to mitigate the possibility that TB would be transmitted to wild elephants or rhinos.
The Nepal Elephant Healthcare and TB Surveillance Program produced the first Elephant TB Guidelines in Asia - approved by Nepal’s Ministry of Forestry.
ECI helped establish and equip a small laboratory at the NTNC Biodiversity Center in Sauraha near Chitwan National Park.
The TB program has employed four Nepali veterinarians and has afforded them opportunities to pursue master degrees with the knowledge they have gained. Two veterinarians - Dr. Sarad Paudel and Dr. Jeewan Thapa went on to study in Japan where they earned PhD degrees.
The knowledge we have gained about TB in elephants has been shared at numerous professional meetings. Over 54 scientific articles or book chapters have been published as a result of this work in Nepal.
In 2023 we began an exciting new project looking at a new TB blood test that may help us to better diagnose TB in elephants. More about this later.
In addition to TB work, we have conducted several health camps for government and privately-owned elephants. These camps included physical examinations, footwork, parasite examinations, bloodwork and the administration of worming medications. One year when rabies threatened the village, we organized and funded a vaccination campaign and vaccinated 210 local dogs and cats.
We gratefully acknowledge the donors who have supported our work in Nepal and also the USFWS Asian Elephant Conservation Fund which awarded ECI three consecutive grants. Our work is on-going in Nepal so please consider a contribution. Donate here!
Elephants are critical to supporting the rhino population in Nepal. Elephants patrol Chitwan National Park to prevent poaching and are essential for the annual rhino census.
Dr. Jeewan Thapa performing TB tests at the ECI-supported lab near Chitwan National Park.
Dr. Sarad (left) and Dr. Jeewan (right) preparing TB medications
ECI supported elephant health camp.