Harald M. Schwammer                     Lalith Seneviratne                           Gaby V. Schwammer


Dr. Harald M. Schwammer

Born: September 12, 1955, Wiener Neustadt (AUSTRIA)
Degree: Zoology, Botanic, Human Biology, and Earth Science

Profession: Zoologist
Since 1986 juridical accredited expert for nature conservation, protection, keeping and dealing with animals.
1977 – 1992 employed on the University for Zoology in Vienna. Lecturer.
1993 – 1995 Curator for Research and Construction at the Vienna Zoo. Responsible for the planning and construction of various animal enclosures and buildings.
Establishing research teams and built up cooperation to different Universities.
1995 – 1998 additionally responsible as Curator for the Aquarium-Terrarium.
Since 1998 Curator (elephants, hippos, big cats, apes, bears, wolfs, lynx, owls, penguins, sea lions, animals of the African enclosure)
Since 1999 Vice Director at the Vienna Zoo.

Founding and guiding research teams for zoobiology and conservation. Advising and monitoring scientific projects of students for diplomas and master degrees.


Involved in numerous in-situ projects in Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, especially in Sri Lanka.

University Lectureships:

University of Vienna (Austria)
Zoobiology: methods for the keeping of wild animals in modern zoos.
Zoological preparation and museum methods,
Ecology sub- and eu-mediterranean islands (Krk, Croatia).
Veterinary University Mahidol in Bangkok (Thailand):
Management of Elephants under Human Care.
University in Thrissur (Kerala – India):
Elephant Conservation and Management in situ and ex situ.
Peridenya University in Candy (Sri Lanka):
Managing Elephants under Human Care.

Elephant issues:

Specialized on keeping and caring methods of elephants, breeding and
training programs and planning of facilities.
First successful artificial
insemination project in African elephants in Europe.
Build up a breeding
group of African elephants.
Organization and performing of international
o 4 international workshops in Vienna: Training elephants for medical care, treatment and research.
o 4 Workshops in Sri Lanka (Colombo, Pinnawala),
o 3 in Thailand (Bangkok) and
o 1 in India (Trissur)
o 2 in France (Amiens, Le Pal)
o 1 in Czech Republic (Dvur Kralove and Prague)
Founder of the International Elephant Management Academy in Vienna, courses for keepers, veterinarians, curators, elephant camp owners (Europe and South Asia).
Founder and President of the EEKMA (European Elephant Keeper and
Manager Association).
Organization of the International Elephant and Rhino
§ Research Symposium in Vienna.
Member of the GEN (Global Elephant Network),
joined EMA, EMOA and EEKMA.
Member of the Board of directors of the IEF
(International Elephant Foundation)
Performing different research projects
§ in elephants in situ and ex situ.
Author of more than about 70 scientific
and popular publications about elephants.
Producing educational films for
professional elephant handlers.
Founder team member of ASERC (Austrian Sri
Lankan Elephant Research and Conservation Project)
Chair of GEMP (Global Elephant Management Program)

in German, English, French and Croatian languages. 

Lalith Seneviratne

Lalith completed his bachelor’s degree in Electronics at the University of Kent, UK and masters degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Calgary, Canada. Thereafter, he pursued a career in telecommunications beginning at the Sri Lanka Telecommunications Department, the then state owned telecommunications service monopoly. In 1988, he became the head of engineering of the country’s first cellular telephone operator, in the process being a member of the team who fought for the de-regulation of the country’s telecommunications industry.
In 1990, Lalith accepted a position with Motorola Corporation and moved to Singapore where he managed the installation rollout of several regional cellular telephone systems. Subsequently he moved to the business development side of Motorola and returned to Sri Lanka as the country head. From 1994 to 2001 he successfully steered the Motorola operations in Sri Lanka. Since then, while continuing with business consulting work primarily for China’s ZTE Corporation, he has been moving towards being a social entrepreneur, gaining experience by carrying out applied conservation and rural electrification activities. He implemented Sri Lanka’s first biomass village electrification system that led to him co-founding an enterprise to provide rural renewable energy electrification in Sri Lanka in a sustainable and distributed way. The Austrian Sri Lankan Elephant Research & Conservation Project, of which too he is a co-founder, is a similar and interlinked initiative in the conservation arena.
For his contribution towards conservation, Lalith was made an Honorary Director in the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation in 2004. He was elected as one of the first Ashoka-Lemelson Fellows. In 1999, Lalith and his colleague Greg Rossel were awarded the Motorola CEO Award for Volunteerism. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the Institution of Engineering Technology, UK.


Gaby V. Schwammer

Born January 16, 1959
- Head of the zoo educational department since 1983,
works in close co-operation with zoo educators around the world
- responsible of all educational issues, labels & signs, exhibitions, zoo library, scientific collections, the zoo archives and zoo publications
- IZE (International Association of Zoo Educators) Secretary (1996-2000)
- 2002 host of IZE, CBSG & WAZA Conferences as an overlapping process
IZE Regional Representative for Europe and the Middles East( since 2004)
Board member of EAZA Exhibit Design and Education Committee since 2002

Primary School, Grammar School, Matriculation examination in 1978,
Vienna University - Zoology and Botanicals 1978 - 1983,
- at the same time assistant at the Vienna Museum of History of Nature, at the State Institute for Scientific Motion Pictures, participation in int. oak-ethologic projects, 1985 - 1989 supervision of an external scientific department of the Vienna University at Krk/Croatia former Yugoslavia.

Since 1983 head of the zoo pedagogical department at the Schoenbrunn Zoo, Vienna, Austria, 1986 - 1993 teacher at the state institute for professional training of animal keepers.

Job description
The zoo pedagogical department of the Schoenbrunn Zoo, Vienna is in charge of all educational issues, of the Zoo library, of the scientific collections, the archive of color slides and photographs, labels & signs, exhibitions and supports the management in matters of public relations.

One of the main tasks of the zoo pedagogical department at Vienna Zoo is also to produce all zoo guidebooks, zoo-folders, posters, CD-ROMS and last but not least to edit the Zoo Magazine (ISSN 1025-7314) and the Elephant Journal of EEKMA (ISSN 1561-4670 German & ISBN 1561-4662 English).

The zoo pedagogical department provided special information to more than 70.000 school-kids individual per year.

Standard zoo pedagogical programs and activities at the Vienna zoo:
Guided tours, partly with special topics; art-classes, ethology classes, teachers' seminars, programs for handicapped persons, "keepers workshops" (participation of visitors in the keepers' everyday tasks), birthday parties, feather quizzes, zoological rallies, etc., night tours through the zoo, V.I.P. packages, backstage tours, special evening events, presentation booths at local fairs and public events, zoological information system at enclosures, co-operation and interaction with the pedagogical departments of other zoos (nat. & int.).

Pedagogically engaged zoos may well claim to be the greatest schools of the country. In the zoo's function as an educational institution, the pedagogical department of the Vienna zoo produces various programs for teachers, schoolchildren, academy students and private persons. Since years, volunteers are successfully trained and also employed for educational and scientific tasks.