Save Mae Boonmee from a life of abuse and misery!
Organized by: Andrew Clark
No More Elephant Rides at Boyd's
March 14, 2016
Meet Mae Boonmee. On a typical day she spends five grueling hours giving rides to tourists in the streets of Thailand. Asian elephants have humped backs, unlike their African cousins, so carrying multiple people on a wooden platform on top of her back is very painful for Mae Boonmee. When she can’t take the pain anymore and refuses to move she is beaten on the head repeatedly with a sharp metal bullhook. Recently, a wound on Mae Boonmee’s forehead (see photos on left) became infected from the beatings and she was taken to our friend Boyd’s Elephant Sanctuary for medical care . When she is sufficiently healed, she will be forced to go back to a life of misery on the streets, beaten and abused, shackled and chained up, and spending every hour of it on hard concrete when her body is made for roaming free on grass and dirt -- unless Boyd is able to raise money to buy her freedom. That’s where you come in. We’re helping Boyd to raise $50,000 so he doesn’t have to send Mae Boonmee back to a life of pain and misery.
In 1900, there were an estimated 100,000 Thai elephants. Today there are believed to be as few as 3,000, with only one-third living in the wild. They are poached for their tusks and dying daily as a result of habitat destruction. The remainder are “domesticated” and most are living in deplorable conditions, overworked, beaten and underfed. They are used to beg on the streets and forced to give rides to tourists. Some are hit by cars in the chaotic, busy streets. Outside the cities, elephants are used to do tourist “treks” and haul heavy timber in illegal logging operations, dangerous work in which elephants are commonly injured and killed tumbling down hillsides or stepping on landmines near the border. Elephants are often fed amphetamines to keep them going through the pain and exhaustion. The unnatural environment of captivity -- concrete and air polluted -- leads to Tuberculosis, arthritis, foot abscesses, and premature death. The emotional toll is arguably worse. When not working, they are chained up, usually in isolation from other elephants, and can be seen exhibiting neurotic behaviors such as swaying. This is how highly intelligent, emotional and self-aware animals like elephants deal with captivity-induced distress.
A tour guide by profession, Boyd opened his sanctuary in 2013 after seeing elephants being mistreated for years. He vowed to do something about it and has since rescued seven elephants, almost entirely with his own money. The elephants now roam free on his grassy forest sanctuary in a valley with a river flowing through it in northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai region. You can help set Mae Boonmee free from her abusers so she can join the herd at Boyd’s sanctuary. Hundreds of elephants around the world are killed every day and their numbers are rapidly dwindling. Here is your chance to directly make an impact and save an animal from a life of misery. Together, we can do this.
Visit Boyd's Elephant Sanctuary facebook page here.