Primary goals and objectives of the animal collection planning and management workshop are the understanding, the capacity and knowledge to implement basic principles of animal management and husbandry as well and understanding the theoretical background.
In interactive workshops on site existing enclosures are inspected, food preparation and distribution to minimize stress as well as enrichment and diet supplementation is carried out. Principles of keeper routines are discussed such as their own behaviour with animals and the need to carry out basic animal observation.
In addition, hygiene and veterinary sample collection to prevent contamination and destruction of the sample is trained and the importance of the interaction with the public is being highlighted.
An entire module focuses on education and awareness, not only for keeper staff who is on the forefront on preventing feeding and teasing, but also for management staff who needs to develop an institutional masterplan for conservation education and train their on education team to reach different age groups within the animal keeping institution as well as in the local communities.
Elephants are chosen as a model species to carry out such basic husbandry principles since these are widely kept in Sri Lanka and not only at zoos, but also in wildlife orphanages and private holders. In addition, they require special safety standards and routine veterinary care procedures, such as regular foot care. Also the importance of education, awareness and outreach can be highlighted due to the need of reducing the Human-Elephant conflict on the island.
Compared to European standards animal husbandry, management, education and outreach in Colombo Zoo and Pinnawala Elephant orphanage are still not developed enough, but the management of both institutions shows interest in constantly improving if instructed how to do so. Long term strategies are still lacking.
In addition these institutions are in close contact with private holders and can extend a positive influence on them, which foreign experts cannot.
Target audience for the training program is top management staff of Colombo Zoo as well as management staff of the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.
These are the stakeholders who are in charge of developing and in turn implementing a strategy, are leading and training their staff members and are woven into the network of local animal keeping institutions and private holders. Due to their openness and interest top management staff of Colombo Zoo and Pinnawala Elephant orphanage can play a key role in improving animal wellbeing ex situ and in situ in all of Sri Lanka.
Fulfilling WAZA animal welfare and ethic standards Vienna Zoo is eager to pass on animal husbandry and veterinary knowledge to other institutions to ensure the wellbeing of animals in captivity and build in-country capacity to pass on the knowledge gained during the course.Sri Lanka faces problems with human-elephant conflict, low husbandry quality for elephants, and there is a need of improving first aid measures, logistic and management in the elephant orphanages Pinnawala and Transit Home.