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Social Interaction and Captive Breeding
For the mental wellbeing of captive elephants, it is important to regularly have time for free social interactions with other elephants, and have the chance to perform natural social behaviour.
In the WKNP-ERU a management system is implemented where, during the times when elephants are not utilized for any kind of patrol work, they are mostly kept in groups together, taken for free grazing inside the WKNP, or kept together in large electric fence paddocks. This allows the elephants to freely interact and socialize thus allowing all aspects of their natural social behavior including mating. Ensuring that elephants are able to socialize and exhibit natural behaviors has not only led to regular breeding success but also leads to a very stable and relaxed state of mind of the animals, which benefits a positive relation between the elephants and their mahouts (elephant care takers) during the times they are working together.