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Initiative to help Thailand’s elephants thrive while tourism is still restricted.

30 Jul 2020

Thailand 's Tourism Authority (TAT) has launched an initiative to help elephants in the kingdom thrive while tourist travel is still restricted. 

 

The project "Help Community, Help Elephant, Help Nation" has initiated collaboration between all governmental elephant-related organizations in Thailand, before setting in motion a public and private sector effort that directs aid both to the elephant camps themselves and to the communities that grow the elephant crops. The project has assisted more than 1,450 private elephants nationwide so far. 

"Elephants are a symbol of Thailand and are a part of our national identity," says Pichaya Saisaengchan, Thailand 's Director of Tourism for Dubai and the Middle East. "Just as many sectors have felt the pandemic's negative impact, so to have elephant camps that rely on the thriving tourism industry of the Kingdom as their main source of revenue. So we're grateful for the community's support and contributions that have come together to ensure the welfare of these majestic animals in these difficult times. 

Also involved in the initiative are various private elephant welfare organizations, including The Thai Elephant Alliance Association; an organization that has actively assisted elephant camps and domesticated elephants around the kingdom. Her efforts include launching a donation channel from which funds are used to purchase food and medicine, as well as funding veterinary teams to monitor the health of elephants returning home. 

Elephant Nature Park of Chiang Mai offers virtual tours through a streaming platform, LazLive, through which its elephants can be viewed in real time.

The initiative helps elephants wellbeing and supports local communities. The tours also promote the Drink Coffee, Save Elephants campaign in which the proceeds from the sales of the locally grown ENP Coffee go towards the Save Elephant Foundation 's activities. 

The UK-registered charity Southern Thailand Elephant Foundation (STEF) supplies food for elephants in the southern region of Thailand and has dispatched laden trucks across the southern region. Their appeal has raised more than 270,000 Thai Baht in donations with the money going to assist the elephants in Thailand. 

Hospitality establishments also play their part in driving visitor awareness through elephant encounters. Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle and Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort organize experiences that enable travelers to connect with the elephants and learn about their lives as they socialize in their natural habitat with the gentle giants.

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