A Mahout with his Elephant
STEF has launched a major appeal to help starving elephants in Thailand. These magnificent creatures have been the hardest hit animals in the current Covid-19 pandemic, and many are facing death by starvation.
Domesticated elephants in Thailand rely entirely on income from tourists, but since Thailand went into lock-down at the end of March, tourism as all but ended and it could be months before visitors return. Elephant parks and camps have had to close, leaving elephant owners with no income and yet having to take responsibility for their elephants.
The majority of domesticated elephants are owned individually by a mahout (kwan chaang) or a small family, who contract their elephant to a tourist park in return for a regular income. With the parks now closed, owners have been left to buy feed and to pay for the care of their elephant, and many simply cannot afford to do this.
Through its sister organisation, STEF Thailand, STEF has volunteers on the ground in Thailand who can support these owners by providing them with food for their elephants, but they need your help to do this. It costs aboujt £10 per day to feed just one elephant, because of the huge quantities of food they eat (see Elephant diet).
That’s £60 -70 per week, or £250 per month.
The elephant population in Thailand has already dwindled to alarmingly low numbers, and many more could be lost in this current crisis if urgent action isn’t taken. WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW! Please donate direct to our STEF Covid-19 Emergency Fund on our Just Giving page. STEF is run entirely by volunteers and all money received will go directly to feed the starving elephants.
For more information about the problems for domesticated elephants in Thailand please see News story.