Operation Sri Lanka!
Ted Leighton, Executive Director of the CCWHC, has just returned from a three week mission in Sri Lanka aimed at helping countries in Asia enhance their programs in wildlife health management. The first week was dedicated to a workshop for the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on wildlife disease surveillance, presented to the OIE focal points for wildlife from almost 40 different Asian countries gathered in Colombo for the event.
The CCWHC instructors at the Workshop were Ted Leighton and Asha Perera (CCWHC Saskatoon) and Jonathan Sleeman, Director of the National Wildlife Health Centre in the US. The remaining days were dedicated to planning meetings with the government and non-government partners in the Sri Lanka Wildlife Health Centre (SLWHC), a new Centre for wildlife health management in Sri Lanka being developed with the help of the CCWHC. The SLWHC and the CCWHC are planning an ambitious program of training and program development to enable Sri Lanka to monitor and manage the health of its magnificent wild animal populations. The first phase will involved training people to take on these new roles and launch new programs, making full use of the expertise and facilities already in place. We look forward to a long-term relationship between the SLWHC and the CCWHC, between Sri Lanka and Canada.
Our Sri Lankan hosts made sure we saw the wildlife whose health we are working to assure, with visits to Udawalawe and Yala National Parks in the SE region of the country. We also saw the Elephant Transit Home at Udawalawe ,where orphaned elephants are raised, trained and re-introduced to the wild (a stunningly successful program), and the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawala where 80 elephants salvaged from injuries in the wild are maintained by 150 workers and 17 tonnes of feed each day. Join us in Sri Lanka through the following photos (thanks to Nilmini Jayasena and Vijitha Perera for many of these).
For more information on the OIE workshop, visit the following link: http://www.srr-seasia-oie.com/programmes/hped/activities-report/focal-points-training-on-wildlife-2nd-cycle/