Captive born elephants are frequently separated at a young age from their mothers for
management reasons. This practice is highly traumatic both for the calf and the mother and
has significant neurological and behavioural implications.
Young elephants are dependent on mother-infant interactions for developing basic social
skills and ecological knowledge. Disruptions to this relationship can lead to compromised
neural and behavioural development and atypical behaviour. In elephants, mothers and
allomothers constitute the formative developmental circle for infant care and the creation
of social relationships that persist through life. However, these fundamentals are routinely
disrupted in captivity.
For the following reasons, based on fact and science, we at ESAI oppose the separation of
captive-born elephant calves from their mothers. Please download our statement by clicking on this link: