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.
1Stage 1 Our current key strategic focus has been to raise funds to help our sister charity (Southern Thailand Elephant Foundation Thailand, STEFT) to construct a much-needed elephant Elephant Veterinary Centre with specialised veterinary services available to the wider elephant community in Phang Nga and Phuket Provinces. The STEF Veterinary Centre Khok Kloi has now been completed, but we still need to raise funds for the running costs of the centre.
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. The aim is to provide a natural rural 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 see these magnificent animals without any fear of their 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 be viewed by schoolchildren and visitors.
4Stage 4 In time, STEF also wishes to support elephant conservation, and to promote veterinary health studies, student projects and other programmes that are designed clearly to benefit the health and welfare of the Asian elephant.