Perspectives for grey giants

Management of wild and tame elephants at Indawgyi Lake in Myanmar


UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Indawgyi Lake, Myanmar

Working elephants benefit from professional care

Elephant owners are supported

About the project

Man and elephant in focus

At Indawgyi Lake we employ veterinarians who look after the health of the working elephants and the training of local veterinarians, elephant owners, and mahouts (elephant guides). The way of training elephants is based on a tradition of thousands of years and is considered relatively hard. However, new findings in the handling and training of elephants allow a much gentler and animal-friendly way of keeping them, which we would like to implement together with the elephant owners.

Together with the forestry authority, the working elephants kept in the biosphere reserve are registered in order to better control illegal logging in the protected area. A veterinarian and an assistant permanently take care of the health of the working elephants and train elephant owners and handlers in modern training methods.

In the medium term, alternatives to hard and environmentally damaging woodwork are to be developed.


A working elephant and his mahout (elephant guide) at Lake Indwagyi in Myanmar.

Support us

Help for elephants

Help us to improve the living conditions of elephants, to create perspectives for owners and their animals and to reduce illegal deforestation. For example, with 150 € you can ensure the medical care of one elephant for one year.

Who’s who?


Most of the privately-owned elephants have not had any registration so far and are being registered with the Forest Department to better control illegal logging in the sanctuary.

Grey giants at the doctor’s

Medical care

The often poor housing and living conditions of the animals urgently need to be improved. Many elephants have wounds and injuries from the hard work and receive permanent veterinary care.

Gentle alternatives

Training methods

The traditional training methods originate from a time when mainly wild-caught elephants were trained and are relatively brutal from today’s perspective. Today, elephants can be trained with gentle methods, which we implement together with the elephant owners.

Representation of interests

Association for elephant owners

The elephant owners are supported in setting up a local association. Members receive, for example, veterinary care for their elephants and access to designated grazing areas in the future.

Future perspectives

Alternative income

Due to the national logging stop, many elephants will be “unemployed” in the near future. Together with the elephant owners, we are developing income alternatives to the hard and environmentally damaging logging work.


Conflict avoidance

Wild Elephants

The north of the biosphere reserve is regularly visited by wild elephants. We collect information in order to implement effective protection measures for humans and elephants.

Partners & Supporters

The project is funded by:

World Animal Protection Society

Katrin Brauch Foundation

The project is implemented jointly with:

Friends of Wildlife