125 jobless elephants retuned to Mae Chaem

 | Tue 16 Jun 2020 16:26 ICT

Mae Chaem’s community is coming together under a loose network of conservationists, activists and the government as well as the private sector, to create a project to help return elephants to the wild.

There are, according to the group, 125 elephants currently out of jobs in Mae Chaem, many of them having returned home from bankrupted tourism camps across the north of Thailand.

As all tourism is essentially non existant at this point, many elephants owned by Karen hill tribes which were leased to various camps to earn their keep, have had to go home.

With each of the 125 elephants eating 250 kgs of food per day, there is simply not enough food to feed them. Over the past few months mahouts have had to walk their elephants home, at times covering distances of hundreds of kilometres.

Their plight has led to the formation of this network of people who love elephants.

Boonleu Thammataranuraks, Mae Chaem’s district chief told CityNews that returning elephants are considered part of the Mae Chaem family and cannot be abandoned.

This project aims to regenerate the local forests by organising tree planting events and support the elephants via eco tourism, where locals can come to Mae Chaem and explore the nature and meet elephants. Anyone interested in donating can also do so by calling the group at 093-220-5499 and 081-867-1253.