Unemployment in Thailand due to coronavirus pandemic has resulted in hundreds of elephants walking back to their homes as they are dependent on tourists for food. According to the reports, with minimal numbers of foreign visitors commercial elephant camps and sanctuaries lack funds for their upkeep and have sent more than 100 elephants back to their homes which is approximately 150 kms.
As per the reports, The Save Elephant Foundation in the northern province of Chiang Mai has been promoting the return of the tuskers to the greener pastures. The foundation supports fundraising to feed the animals sheltered at tourist parks but they believe that it is good for them to return to their natural habitat where they would not face any problems. The situation is very critical as the pandemic affected the country which is completely dependent on tourism.
London-based World Animal Protection reportedly said that as many as 2,000 tame elephants are at the risk of starvation as their owners are unable to feed them. As per the reports, since last month nearly hundreds of elephants have walked down from all over Chiang Mai to their homeland of Mae Chaem. Mae Chaem ids filled with villages where members of the Karen ethnic minority live and traditionally keep elephants.
Saengduean Chailert, founder of Save Elephant reportedly said the initiative to bring unemployed elephants back home was in response to appeals from their owners. The foundation reportedly promotes settling of elephants where they can reside alongside the villagers in sustainable eco-friendly communities. According to the reports, the foundation convinced some of the owners and their mahouts to make a 150-kilometer journey with the elephants so that they reach safely to their homes. Save Elephant’s Saengduean reportedly said that she does not have any idea when the COVID-19 will go back but it their task to help feed the animals as they were stuck because of the outbreak.
(Image Credit: AP)