Unchained Elephants’ first elephant rescue thanks to NFTs

 | Tue 12 Dec 2023 20:24 ICT

Discovered chained up day and night in the sun or rain behind a trekking camp: This elderly bull elephant was found barely surviving on limited food and with just one functional eye. He endured four years in captivity in Chiang Mai, facing severe malnutrition and confinement by chains. Unchained Elephants, dedicated to improve elephant welfare throughout Thailand, achieved a groundbreaking rescue for this elephant using tokenized methods. Through Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and crowdfunding, they rescued and unchained Kanoon, setting a new path for elephant conservation funding and marking a historic advancement in elephant welfare. On September 5th, Kanoon found sanctuary at Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES), an ethical haven in Sukhothai.

Unchained Elephants, led by Daniel Villota & Vicki Kiely, initially emerged as an NFT initiative amid the challenges elephants faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their mission aimed to raise funds for ‘unemployed’ elephants due to travel restrictions. They successfully raised £7,400, supporting eight elephants across Thailand. As tourism resumed, Unchained Elephants shifted focus towards rescuing elephants in dire conditions and educating travellers about elephant tourism’s implications.

Unchaining Kanoon: a one-eyed bull elephant chained next to a garbage dump

The pivotal moment arose when Kanoon, a 55-year-old male elephant in distressing conditions in Mae Tang, Chiang Mai, was brought to their attention by Thai animal activist Chayanan Assawadhammanond. Learning about Kanoon’s dire situation, Unchained Elephants, led by Daniel Villota & Vicki Kiely, decided on a challenging rescue. Their journey began on June 24th to redefine elephant rescue. Kanoon, 55, faced unimaginable suffering in Chiang Mai. Chained day and night, lacking food, and with one functioning eye, Kanoon’s plight shed light on the broader issue of abandoned male elephants in Thailand, left to suffer without care. The rescue became imperative.

World’s first tokenised elephant: rescuing elephants in Thailand using NFTs and crowdfunding

Rallying to raise £13,700, paving the way for Kanoon’s rescue and relocation, they accomplished their mission on August 15th. This rescue gathered approximately £14,000, with 60% from crowdfunding and 40% leveraging Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) on the XRPL.

Unchained Elephant’s first elephant rescue mission in Thailand

Starting on June 24th and ending on September 5th, the challenging mission demanded funding, planning, unwavering determination, and valuable support. Kanoon’s unique status presented a hurdle, but Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES) came forward to offer refuge.

The challenging journey on September 5th, 2023, lasted 13 hours amid a storm, relocating Kanoon to Sukhothai. Unchained Elephants & BLES teams persevered, securing Kanoon’s freedom from suffering. Kanoon’s arrival at BLES signifies hope for elephant well-being.

BLES, in Sukhothai, Thailand, stands as an ethical sanctuary in Thailand offering rescued elephants a joyful home. Founded by Katherine Connor, it allows elephants to live freely, socialise, and find their own food.

About Unchained Elephants Project & Mission

Unchained Elephants uses NFTs to support elephant welfare. Originating as aid for unemployed elephants, it evolved into a project dedicated to rescuing elephants. It offers a digital membership (NFT ownership), Thailand travel benefits, and elephant-friendly practices. Supporters/donors receive an NFT adoption certificate, fostering a bond with the elephants. Through tokenization, they raise funds, awareness, and offer discounts on Thailand experiences. Their commitment extends to educating travellers and directing proceeds towards elephant welfare in Thailand.


YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@unchainedelephants Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unchainedelephants / Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/unchainedelephants / Twitter: https://twitter.com/unchainelephant