Fifty elephants in need of support

 | Thu 16 Apr 2020 16:23 ICT

CityNews – 16th April 2020, with a population of around 400 people, most families in the Karen village of Huay Pakoot, Mae Chaem District, own several elephants as one of their main sources of income. These elephants normally reside in tourism camps around Chiang Mai province, however due to the COVID-19 lockdown and the subsequent loss of tourism, many elephants along with their mahouts have been forced to return to the village, with no work or income.

Elephants typically eat for 18 hours a day, and with over 50 elephants now in the area, it has been a struggle to keep them all happy and well-fed. The villagers are having to travel three hours a day to find more food for their elephants, which also puts them at risk of catching COVID-19; however the welfare of the elephants comes first.

Some friends of Huay Pakoot, who have all previously worked or volunteered on an ethical elephant research project, know how dedicated the elephants’ families are to their welfare and have organised a fundraiser to support them. Any donations will help support all the elephants and mahouts in Huay Pakoot who have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis; covering the costs of food for the elephants and sustaining the community whilst their income has been taken away.

To thank donors, they are offering a range of virtual rewards, including a poem, cooking class and animal drawing. The biggest donations will earn a virtual ‘meet an elephant’ session with one of the local villagers and one of the beautiful elephants of Huay Pakoot.

For more information you can contact Chigusa Keller at [email protected]