80 year-old Nuanjan (meaning Beautiful Moon) tucks into some feed concentrate
Here is our latest update on what STEF has achieved so far to help elephants in Southern Thailand during the Covid-19 restrictions – thanks to the generosity of our supporters!
STEF began food deliveries to hungry elephants over three weeks ago, soon after we started our appeal on JustGiving. We have now raised over £15,000 thanks to donations via JustGiving, some generous private donations, and donations directly to STEF Thailand from local people keen to support our work. One local Thai farmer even donated a field of sugar cane to feed the elephants.
We are lucky to have a fantastic team of volunteers on the ground in Thailand working incredibly hard to meet the demand from anxious owners who are struggling to feed their elephants now that they have no income from the elephant parks (see starving elephants). Truckloads of fodder (mostly pineapple plants, sugar cane and napier grass, and some bags of concentrate feed) are loaded up every day and driven to these owners. Each load costs around £60 and provides enough food for one elephant for a week. Fortunately, the money we spend is benefiting the local communities as well as the elephants because we are buying the elephant food from farmers whose normal sales outlets have been closed during the lock-down.
Initially, transporting the food around the southern provinces was difficult because of the restrictions on travel (Phuket, for example, has closed its causeway) but we have now managed to provide food to well over 200 elephants in the south, including deliveries via the ferry to Koh Samui, and we hope to reach many more in the coming weeks. There are signs that Thailand is beginning to ease restrictions, but it will be a long time before the elephant parks open again and the tourists return.
Until then, the elephants will continue to need our help, and therefore we need your help. However small your donation, it will make a difference. Remember, £60 provides one truckload of food. So even £30 would sponsor half of truck load of food. STEF is run by volunteers, so all the money raised in this appeal will be spent on food, or medical assistance, for the elephants. Please DONATE HERE.