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An international cohort of experts review the history of human-elephant relations, discuss current issues of vital concern to elephant welfare, and assess the prospects for the ethical coexistence of both species.
Part I provides an overview of the vexatious human-elephant relationship, from the history of our interactions to understanding elephant intelligence and sense of self. It concludes with a discussion of the issues of stress, pain, and suffering as experienced by elephants in human care and the problems inherent in assessing these subjectively.
The second part explores how humans use elephants as tools and entertainment. It reviews domestic uses in Asia, examines the history and roles of elephants in zoos and circuses, and discusses the methods and ethics of training and caring for captive elephants.
In Part III the contributors examine the fragile and conflict-filled world of human-elephant interactions in the wild.
Christen Wemmer is a fellow at the California Academy of Sciences and an emeritus scientist with the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park, where he previously served as director of the Conservation and Research Center. He studies wildlife conservation and conflict resolution in protected areas. Catherine A. Christen, an environmental historian, is a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
An important and timely contribution to the elephant debate. - Beth Stevens, Disney's Animal Kingdom and Animal Programs"