top of page
Eleph at Kasara.jpg

Protocols and Guidelines for
Health, Management and Welfare

Click on links below to access detailed information.

Elephant Health


Healthcare Management of Captive Asian Elephants (India)

Elephant Endoheliotrophic Herpes Virus / EEHV (also see
European EEHV Reccommodations
Houston Zoo Asian Elephant EEHV Protocol 2020
Oklahoma City Zoo Asian Elephants EEHV Protocol 2012
United Kingdom EEHV Protocol by Jonathan Cracknell
EEHV Guidelines Asia 2017
EEHV Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing of “At Risk” Juvenile Asian Elephants (EEHV Advisory Group)
Standards of Care for Elephant Calves for EEHV-Preparedness (EEHV Advisory Group)
EEHV Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing of “At Risk” Juvenile African Elephants (EEHV Advisory Group)
EEHV Research and Tissue Request Protocol final (EEHV Advisory Group)
Request Form for EEHV Testing with instructions for sample submission 2016
EEHV Publications Updated July 2023

Tuberculosis (TB)
Guidelines for the Control of TB in Elephants 2010

After careful evaluation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has determined that the U.S. Animal Health Association’s (USAHA) 2010 “Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants” continue to represent the best standards of care for elephants that may be exposed to TB or test positive for the disease, and APHIS is strongly encouraging licensees and registrants who own elephants to voluntarily comply with the Guidelines (October 16, 2015).

Lessons from “Mycobacterium-Related Elephant Necropsy Cases” (Dr. Scott Terrell)
TB Publications Updated July 2023

AZA-SSP Elephant Health Protocols  
Elephant Serum Bank Submission Form 2010
Elephant TAG Comprehensive Health Monitoring 2018
Elephant TAG Transport guidelines 2018
Eleph TAG Research and Necropsy Protocol April 2019

Elephant TAG Quarantine Guidelines 2018

Potential Treatments for Reproductive Problems in Elephants (Janine Brown – National Zoo – US)
Veterinary Guidelines for Reproductive Management 2018 (Dr. Willem Schaftenaar and Dr. Thomas Hildebrandt)
Use of Domperidone to Treat Parturition and Lactation Problems in Elephants (Dr. Janine Brown)


Foot Health
The Elephant’s Hoof: Macroscopic and Microscopic Morphology (Andreas Benz)
The Elephant’s Hoof (Benz-Spanish Version)

Procedure to Treat Fractured Tusks 2020 11 29

Elephants: Nutrition and Dietary Husbandry (Nutrition Advisory Group) 1997


Post-mortem Procedures for Wildlife Veterinarians and Field Biologists (African Elephants) (Published jointly by the Office International des Epizooties, Care for the Wild and the Veterinary Specialist Group/Species Survival Commission)

Techniques and Procedure for Post-Mortem Of Elephants: A Handbook for Veterinarians, Biologists & Elephant Managers – Cheeran

Eleph TAG Research and Necropsy Protocol April 2019

Elephant Postmortem Examination Practical Application and General Principles (Dr. Rita McManamon and Dr. Scott Terrell)

Elephant Management

AZA Standards for Elephant Management and Care (AZA 2012) New version coming soon
Best Practices Coalition for Captive Elephant Well-Being 2005
EAZA Best Practices Guidelines for Elephants 2020
Elephant Care Manual for Mahouts and Camp Managers (Thailand)
Kerala Captive Elephants (Management and Maintenance)
Optimal Conditions for Captive Elephants 2005 (Coalition for Captive Elephant Well-Being)
Practical Elephant Management – A Handbook for Mahouts (India)

Elephant Welfare

Elephant Welfare Project (based at the University of Nottingham). See their Elephant Behavioural Welfare Assessment Tool.

Epidemiological Investigations of North American Zoo Elephant Welfare PLOS One Collection (link below)


This collection of articles resulted from a comprehensive study analyzing the daily lives of 255 Asian and African elephants in 68 North American zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Research focused on factors related to the wellbeing of elephants including: behavior, body condition, foot and joint health, female reproductive function, and walking distance. Developing Behavioural Indicators, as Part of a Wider Set of Indicators, to Assess the Welfare of Elephants in UK Zoos. May 2015

The Welfare, Housing and Husbandry of Elephants in UK Zoos.  Harris, M., Sherwin, C. and Harris, S. 2008

Elephants in UK Zoos 2010. Zoos Forum review of issues in elephant husbandry in UK zoos in the light of the report by Harris et al (2008)

Elephant Welfare Group BIAZA (established to drive forward a series of improvements in the welfare and care of elephants in UK zoological collections)

AVMA Literature Review on the Welfare Implications of Elephant Training (April 14, 2008)

bottom of page