Mehrkam, Lindsay R. and Fad, Otto (2020) Animal welfare science and “a life worth living” for wild and captive elephants. Animal Sentience 28(10)
Liv Baker and Rebecca Winkler, Asian elephant rescue, rehabilitation and rewilding
Baker & Winkler (2020) propose restoring elephants to a state of “wildness” and a “life worth living” by reintroducing captive elephants to the hands of indigenous mahout cultures and practices. To evaluate this proposal, we must define operationally a number of critical concepts in a species-centric, individualistic way, avoiding human-centric opinions and romanticized notions of the wild. Animal welfare science can help create greater synergy between ex-situ zoological institutions and in-situ elephant conservation, and welfare efforts that respect and value the cultures of both species.