More than 1000 elephants in Thailand are facing the very real danger of starvation following the closure of dozens of elephant camps throughout the country as a result of COVID-19.
Since the tourist dollars stopped, there is no money to feed the elephants – a situation that has been exacerbated by recent fires which have destroyed much of the forest habitat that provides the food needed to take care of these elephants.
Many elephant carers (‘mahouts’) have been dismissed from the camps and are walking many miles, taking their elephants back to their home villages. The future ahead for them all is bleak and unknown as the villages cannot sustain these large beasts either.
Now the real fear is that they may be employed back into the (illegal) logging industry or reduced to begging on the streets. Alternatively they may be sold to zoos. None of these options are a palatable future for the elephants.
This is a looming CRISIS OF IMMENSE PROPORTIONS in Thailand.
We respectfully request the Government of Thailand to immediately step in with financial support to help feed and house the elephants and avoid this life-threatening and catastrophic future scenario. We believe that if no action is taken, Thailand’s booming tourism industry, which has been decades in the making, will suffer greatly.