The remarkable Elephant World sanctuary in Thailand has been brought to its knees after electricity was shamelessly and unscrupulously stolen by a shady hotel conglomerate. Elephant World is caring for once-abused and exploited elephants, who had found peace and safety here.
Among the many gentle giants living out their golden years at the sanctuary is Kammon, a 70-year-old who was once half-starved and beaten into begging on the streets of Bangkok, at the cruel end of whips and billhooks. This was the brutal and sad life of many elephants. Kammon was saved by animal welfare organisations, nearly 25 years ago and taken to Elephant World. Elephant World was founded on the banks of the River Kwai in 2008. It is a sanctuary for sick, old, disabled, abused and rescued elephants. It is here that these elephants take their final bow, and where pianist, Paul Barton, plays beautiful classical music to them.
“She deserves to live out her remaining years in peace, this will not happen if the sanctuary does not have electricity,” said NFA’s Asian campaigner Paul Seigel.
In Thailand, there are almost no elephants left in the wild. Most wound up working as logging machines for the teak industry. In 1998, when the logging industry was banned, many of the surviving elephants were sold to people who exploited them to perform tricks in public for small amounts of money.
Animal welfare organizations stepped in and some of the elephants were rescued and taken to places like Elephant World, where they are living out their days in peace.
The situation is so out of the ordinary that sanctuary staff are in crisis mode. They have located a good, used generator that will cost around 250,000 baht (US$8,000/UK£6,000).
“Our goal is to raise at least that amount for them in the next 72 hours, so that they can purchase this generator. This is an emergency appeal to ask for your generous and urgent donation,” says Seigel.
“Our only hope for these traumatised elephants is that the sanctuary continues to operate, but it will only be possible once we help them get the generator they need,” says Seigel.
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