BENEFITING: BODHI TREE FOUNDATION
One hundred years ago, there were an estimated 100,000 Asian elephants in Thailand. Today there are only 3,500-5,000 due to a multitude of threats, ranging from desire for ivory to reduction in forest space. The end of Thailand’s logging industry in 1989 put thousands of elephants and mahouts out of work and drove them into the cities or tourism ‘camps’, where elephants are subject to a debilitating lifestyle with low standards of health and long work hours. Elephant camps cater to tourists and use elephants irresponsibly, forcing them to provide rides in adverse weather and/or difficult terrain or to perform for ‘entertainment’ such as painting or playing soccer.
There are only two hospitals in Northern Thailand that provide care for sick or injured elephants. At best, these hospitals are a 6- hour drive from Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES), a sanctuary for rescued and retired elephants located in the rural village of Baan Tuek in northern Thailand. It takes up to five days for a veterinarian to arrive often with little to no follow up care given the long distances needed to travel.
Help us fund the Veterinarians International mobile Veterinary Elephant Clinic based at BLES to provide veterinary care to approximately 65 captive elephants living in this remote region. The clinic would not only provide critical veterinary services but also be a training opportunity for veterinarians and students to show responsible humane husbandry. Funds would provide a year’s salary for a junior elephant clinician.