ASERC, the Austrian Sri Lankan Elephant research and conservation project (www.aserc.org) is an ongoing and joint initiative of the Vienna Zoo, the Friends of the Vienna Zoo and the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation.
It entails several aspects including elephant research and management, veterinary medicine, technical resources and environmental education. It helps in managing the Human Elephant conflict in the communities, but also improving the lives of captive elephant and other animals.
This is one in a series of workshops focusing on building expertise in managing animal collections in general and elephant management in particular.
At first a wide and basic overview on how to plan and manage animal collections is provided and interactive workshops on enclosure design, food preparation, animal handling, enrichment, keeper routing, hygiene, veterinary care and interaction with the public are carried out.
Secondly a special module focuses on Elephant management with basic training and veterinary procedures, such as foot care, as well as advanced veterinary methods and development of a breeding program, leading to the establishment of an ex situ and in situ conservation strategy which also takes the Human-Elephant conflict into account.
Since 2006 ASERC marks a cooperative effort between the Vienna Zoo and Sri Lankan experts in elephant research and management, veterinary medicine and technical resources. It conducts research and conservation on elephant in-situ and ex-situ and is designed to guarantee species-appropriate management and to help settle the animal-human conflict in habitat use.
Moreover, ASERC helps fund the elephant care centres in Sri Lanka and provides support in the form of experts in the veterinarian and management sectors.