• Abylay Darmenov


Updated: May 26, 2020

This pandemic introduced to us that how is nature important in our lives, and if we will put some regulations in law that we can save our planet. For Thailand, elephants are important ones. A key reason why the elephant is a symbol of incredible strength, durability, and longevity. We hope that they will find the best solution to save elephants.

picture: fingertiptravels.com

In Thailand, as in the rest of the world due too pandemic millions lost their jobs, but there are ones who are happy with it. Since these guys is elephants, they can fall deep into mother nature. And enjoy their life outside. With scant numbers of foreign visitors, commercial elephant camps and sanctuaries lack funds for their upkeep and have sent more than 100 of the animals trudging as far as 150 kilometers back to their homes. It was made with the help of guys from Chang Mai province of The Save Elephant Foundation. 

The foundation supports fundraising appeals to feed animals still housed at tourist parks but believes it is good for them to return to their natural habitat where they can be more self-sufficient.

Elephants are at risk of starvation.

While 100 have headed home, London-based World Animal Protection says for many as 2,000 tame elephants, the situation is critical and they are at risk of starvation because their owners are unable to feed them.

Sadudee Serichevee owns four elephants and in following the foundation's advice set up his own small Karen Elephant Experience park with elephants brought from Mae Chaem's Ban Huay Bong, his wife's village.

"At first I thought the situation would be back to normal within a month or two. At the end of April, I lost all hope," Mr. Serichevee said.

He and his wife agreed to bring their elephants back to her village because they could no longer shoulder the monthly expenses of close to 200,000 baht ($9,610) for rental of land and facilities, salaries for handlers — known as mahouts — and food.

Elephants eat as much as 300 kilograms grass and vegetables for a day.

They convinced some other owners to make the 150-kilometers trek on foot with them as trucking the animals is prohibitively expensive for owners of small parks, and elephants can maintain a walking speed of just over 7 kilometers per hour.

Their caravan of 11 elephants, their owners, and their mahouts was greeted by a welcome-home party on their arrival at Ban Huay Bong.

"These elephants have not had a chance to return home for 20 years. They seem to be very happy when arriving home, they make their happy noises, they run to the creek near the village and have fun along with our children," Mr. Serichevee said.

The project is also active in the north-eastern province of Surin, famous for its annual elephant festival. The province's Tha Tum district, home to hundreds of elephants, welcomed about 40 of them back last month.

"We don't know when COVID-19 will go away," said Save Elephant founder Saengduean Chailert.

"So this is our task, to help feed the elephants that were laid off because of the outbreak."

youTube: South China Morning Post

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