Mobile Vet Clinics

The life of a captive elephant in Laos can be extremely difficult, often working under harsh conditions in remote areas of forest with no provision of proper veterinary care. Despite geographical obstacles, ElefantAsia has aimed to improve the sanitary conditions of captive elephants by providing mahouts with access to free veterinary care and the training needed to care for their sick or injured elephant.

Unfortunately many mahouts only have a basic knowledge of modern medical treatments, and their ability to access medications for their elephants is often very limited, which can often leave elephants suffering needlessly. Equipped with light surgical tools, medicines, water tanks and dart gun, ElefantAsia has used vehicles especially adapted for the treatment of elephants in remote areas. We have visited logging sites, tourism centres and villages across Laos checking the wellbeing of the animals, our veterinarians also providing training to mahouts; offering advice on basic care for their animals, together with an elephant first aid kit which contains practical medicines as well as an illustrated elephant care manual.

Since 2006, our mobile veterinary clinics have completed hundreds of missions and thousands of elephant health checks across provinces Sayaboury, Vientiane and Champassak (our aim being to visit each working elephant in Laos at least once per year). The most common medical complaints seen by the mobile clinics often relate directly to an elephant's work and include abscesses, lesions, parasites and exhaustion.

With capacity building complete, the Lao Department of Livestock is now implementing the Elephant Mobile Clinics, however ElefantAsia's team of veterinarians based in Sayaboury remain on hand for emergency missions, especially in cases of musth where male elephants can become uncontrollable and a danger to villagers.

Each mission can take between 5 -10 days which is sufficient time to treat approximately 50 elephants. The average cost of treating one elephant with injuries is approximately €15.

If you wish to support the continuation of the elephant mobile clinics, please visit here.