Saving Thai Elephants
Organized by: Erica Teghtmeyer
You would think that since elephants are in literally every form across cities and temples they would be respected, but it is quite the opposite here. The tourism industry in Thailand is disgusting and I urge anyone who visits NOT to support it. As babies these beautiful creatures are STOLEN from their parents who are shot, then they are starved, heavily abused, and worked quite literally to death. I volunteered for a week at the Elephant Nature Park in Chaing Mai, Thailand and it was life changing. Lek Chailert is the founder of this organization and she is by far the smallest but most powerful and deeply moving woman I have ever had the privilege of speaking to. For over 20 years she has been fighting non stop to protect ALL animals including elephants. Her relentlessness and compassion is amazing, and the sick treatment of these animals is so motivating. The suffering and pain elephants have had to endure is indescribable as well as unimaginable. Some elephants that she has rescued have been in chains for over 50 years and when the chains are finally removed, the elephant is upset and confused. Refusing to eat, they hop with their legs together like the chains are still there as they believe they are a part of their body. Baby elephants on the street still have "adorable" hairy bodies because they have been ripped away from their mothers barely MONTHS old and haven't had the comfort of running under her body to wear away the hair. I saw photos of an elephant that had gasoline poured over his body and his owner light him on fire because he disobeyed him. Photos of starved elephants that had tumours, broken legs, yellow pus seeping from open wounds of where they had been beaten. Elephants who through illegal logging had stepped on land mines close to the border and had their legs completely ruined. It's hard for me to wrap my brain around the mistreatment of these creatures and after having seen the repercussions first hand I can't ignore it. My goal is to raise $50 000 so I can donate it to the Elephant Nature Park to help them rescue more elephants. This is a topic I am extremely passionate about so thank you for taking the time to read this!