Scientific research into captive Asian elephant management is critical for the population’s welfare and species perpetuity. At ACES we believe in an evidence-based approach to elephant management, and we support the continued advancement in scientific research. We strongly recommend you receive your Asian elephant information from independent research institutions, rather than online media, clickbait, ‘foundations’ or social media groups. 


Fortunately, more and more academic research is being performed by qualified scientists around the world in the field of captive elephant care. Below are just a few research papers ACES has referred to in our elephant camp standards. Please read these if you are interested in learning about how academic research can help create excellent levels of captive elephant management.

Elephant riding

Kongsawasdi S, Brown JL, Boonprasert K, Pongsopawijit P, Wantanajittikul K, Khammesri S, Tajarernmuang T, Thonglorm N, Kanta-In R, Thitaram C. Impact of Weight Carriage on Joint Kinematics in Asian Elephants Used for Riding. Animals. 2021; 11(8):2423. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082423

Elephant enrichment

Fernandez EJ, Upchurch B, Hawkes NC. Public Feeding Interactions as Enrichment for Three Zoo-Housed Elephants. Animals. 2021; 11(6):1689. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061689

Elephant welfare

Bansiddhi P, Brown JL, Thitaram C. Welfare Assessment and Activities of Captive Elephants in Thailand. Animals. 2020; 10(6):919. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10060919

Captive elephant conservation

Suter, IC. Rewilding or reviewing: Conservation and the elephant-based tourism industry. Animal Sentience. 2020; 28(3). DOI: 10.51291/2377-7478.1556

Elephant interactions

Bansiddhi P, Brown JL, Khonmee J, et al. Management factors affecting adrenal glucocorticoid activity of tourist camp elephants in Thailand and implications for elephant welfare. 2019; PLoS One. 2019;14(10):e0221537. Published 2019 Oct 1. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0221537