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Elephant Nature Foundation

October 19, 2012

“Elephant Nature Foundation is a non-profit organization which advocates and acts on behalf of the rights of Asian elephants in Thailand.”

The Asian elephant is under serious threat of extinction.  Logging, despite being banned, has led to a significant amount of habitat loss.   As few as 500 wild elephants are left.   The roughly 2,000 domesticated elephants, which work in trekking and other subgroups of the tourism industry have a bleak future.

The mission of Elephant Nature Foundation is to save the Asian elephant from extinction and to provide domesticated elephants with a life free of abuse, neglect and hard labor.   Their work encompasses habitat preservation and increased public awareness and education on the humane treatment of elephants.

To accomplish their goals and mission, Elephant Nature Foundation runs a number of projects including the following:

  • Surin Project:  this project, located in the province of Surin in northeastern Thailand,  provides elephant owners with employment opportunities and their elephants with an environment where they can be free from chains.  Without this alternative, many of the elephant owners would have to resort to traveling with their elephants to the larger cities to beg.  Volunteers are key to the ongoing success of this project.
  • Elephant Nature Park:  Nestled in the beautiful Mae Teng Valley, Elephant Nature Park provides over 30 rescued elephants with a home where they can live out the remainder of their lives in dignity and peace.  Visitors have the unique experience of seeing the elephants in their natural surroundings.

Elephant Nature Park

  • Elephant Haven:  located about an hour-and-a-half from Elephant Nature Park, Elephant Haven consists of 100 acres of lush vegetation. It provides a safe jungle retreat, where every week the project’s elephants and volunteers stay overnight.   The location’s remoteness allows the elephants to wander freely in the jungle.
  • Jumbo Express:  this program provides emergency medical care to elephants who would otherwise receive none.  In addition to caring for the elephants, Jumbo Express builds ties with the communities in which the animals live to raise their standard of living. Since it was established in 1995, the program has visited over 100 communities, hill tribe villages and refugee camps.

To learn more about Elephant Nature Foundation, visit their website.  For more information on volunteering with elephants in the Surin Project, click on the link.  For the complete details on how you can get involved, click here.

All images are from the Elephant Nature Foundation Facebook page.

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