If you follow us on Facebook you will have read of the sudden, tragic and devastating death of 17-month-old TONKAO on Monday 17 June 2019. This was a terrible loss to STEF trustee and Chair of STEF Thailand, Jakrapob Thaotad, and his colleagues at Phang Nga Elephant Park. The demise of this young, healthy and fun-loving youngster was deeply felt by many people around the world but particularly intensely by those who live and work with Jake and his elephant family.

TONKAO (whose name meant ‘rice seedling’) succumbed to Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV), one of the most devastating viral infections affecting young, fit Asian elephants. Scientists remain unclear how elephants get infected by the virus, where the virus persists, and what mechanisms drive the sudden deadly effects of the disease. A Buddhist service was held in her honour and she was buried in a family plot near to the Park.

A JustGiving campaign has been started in memory of TONKAO to help sponsor the rapid completion of the new STEF Thailand elephant veterinary centre. This clinic will ensure that elephants that are acutely sick receive fast, professional veterinary diagnosis and treatment. At present the nearest dedicated elephant hospital is over four hours’ drive away.

As you know, the building  is already underway but we need more money to try and complete it this year to provide lifesaving treatments for the elephant population across the region.

Help make it happen by supporting the TONKAO Memorial Fund.