Mahouts are a specialized class of people with a proud professional background. However, the profession is losing its appeal owing to the dwindling importance of captive elephants. We have assessed their incomes, number elephants, background and human casualties by captive elephants through extensive surveys in three captive elephant management systems - private, Hindu temple and forest department prevalent in Tamil Nadu.

Captive Asian elephants Elephas maximus are managed in three systems in Tamil Nadu namely, private, Hindu temples and forest department. The authors studied the population size and structure, natality and mortality during 2003-05 in the three systems to assess their long-term viability.

The authors studied the activity patterns and feeding ecology of Asian Elephants Elephas maximus in deciduous and dry thorn forests of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, southern India. Over 20,000 instantaneous scan samplings on elephants revealed that 60% of the daylight hours were devoted to feeding.