The African Elephant Research Unit (AERU), Western Cape, South Africa, monitors and studies a herd of captive elephants living in a controlled free range environment within a tourism framework.


Established in 2009, AERU conducts non-harmful behavioural and physiological research on the elephants based at the park.  The results of the research are used to feed information back to park management to make adjustments when needed to continually improve on animal welfare practices.  Additionally, AERU collaborates with universities and international researchers to provide, facilitate and assist with research relevant to both captive and wild elephant populations.

AERU has a very successful volunteer program, and while the bulk of their daily work involves conducting behavioural observations on the elephants, building enrichments and lab work, they also take time out to create awesome products using re-purposed bicycle tire tubes, that are then sold to create income for AERU.




Non-Profit Research Trust: # IT854/2013; PBO #9300 44259