Elephant Welfare: We All Have Some Responsibility

ethical tourism for elephants

Elephants at an Ethical Tourist Park in Thailand

Like any domesticated animal, be it a horse, a dog or an elephant, the quality of life for that animal is largely dependent on its owner or carer. Ignorance is often the source of any maltreatment, and this is something STEF is hoping to improve upon with its roll out of elephant veterinary care in Southern Thailand. As well as treating sick or injured elephants, STEF’s veterinary Officer, Dr Aon, is also advising and helping local elephant owners to give their elephants the best possible care.

STEF also aims to increase educational opportunities for local people to learn more about elephant care. For example, we have supported visits by schoolchildren to ethical elephant parks where they have learnt about the care and management of elephants; perhaps even inspiring them to become a kwan-chaang (mahout) when they grow up (see our news story):

It is also important for tourists to choose only ethically run elephant parks and centres to visit, so that owners of parks realise it is in their own best interests to treat their elephants with respect, and to provide them with good facilities and the chance to graze on land with plentiful vegetation. Tourists can also keep an eye for any sales of illegal ivory in shops or stalls, or even online. You can report any concerns to Tourism Thailand.

By helping STEF, you will be helping elephants in Thailand to have a better future. STEF’s first objective is to treat all elephants in need of medical care, without judgement.  Through our work, we aim also to educate and encourage elephant handlers to look after their elephants with kindness and respect. Please consider making a donation.

[Click on photos below to enlarge and to read captions]