The welfare of the elephant must be paramount

There is an urgent welfare need in Southern Thailand to provide elephant health care and to create a safe, well-managed and caring centre for elephants no longer able to work and which may have become a burden to their owner.

Starving elephants Thailand

1Stage 1 Our current key strategic focus is to raise funds to help our sister charity (Southern Thailand Elephant Foundation Thailand, STEFT) to construct a much-needed elephant Healthcare Centre with specialised veterinary services available to the wider elephant community in Phang Nga Province. There is currently no dedicated elephant hospital in the Province to care for over 500 domesticated elephants.

2Stage 2 will include construction of an Education Centre to explain the importance of the elephant and its place in Thai culture, and the basic philosophy of elephant conservation through breeding. The aim is to provide a natural jungle centre where visitors can learn about the Asian elephant in its natural environment, and appreciate its vital role in Thai culture. Guests will be encouraged to interact with these magnificent animals without any fear of abuse or exploitation.

3Stage 3 will be to construct a Home of Rest for retired or neglected elephants on land in jungle near Ban Ton Sae, about 12 km from Phuket. The site is ideal for development as a facility for retired elephants where they can relax and enjoy a peaceful and stress-free retirement. There is plenty of grazing, with scope for environmentally enriched activities, and where the elephants can meet and interact with schoolchildren and visitors.

4Stage 4 In time, STEF also wishes to support the development of one or more conservation units, to promote breeding programmes and long-term conservation. Other work we wish to support includes veterinary research programmes, student projects and other proposals that will benefit the health and welfare of the Asian elephant.