If you wish to volunteer ethically with elephants, and wish to know more about them, the problems they face and you want to be part of the solution, the WFFT Elephant Rescue and Education Centre is the place to come to and volunteer.
The forested land around the rescue center gives our rescued elephants the chance to roam around in near natural surroundings. We have purchased large pieces of land to make these forests and grasslands their home. Our large elephant enclosures, up to 5 hectares each, with natural trees, lakes and grazing areas allow our elephants space to move around and socialise with other elephants. We run Asia’s first completely chain- free elephant sanctuary! No elephant is ever chained up, day or night.
Thailand is home to both populations of wild and domesticated populations of the Asian elephant. The domestic population is sadly made up of animals that have been caught from the wild or bred in captivity. These animals have been trained/broken to live and work in the tourist or logging industry. Today, Thailand’s wild population elephant population is struggling for survival. The wild elephant population of Thailand is estimated at 2200 individuals, that live in open grasslands and dense rainforests spread over the country. Historically, domestic elephants have been used predominantly in the logging industry, ironically and unwillingly helping to destroy the very habitat they rely on to survive.
After the ban on logging in 1989, most of the logging elephants ended up being used within the tourist industry or have been used to make a living by begging on the streets of big cities. Walking day and night on these dirty and traffic-congested streets is detrimental to the elephant’s health, and unnatural. Street begging elephants often end up being involved in road traffic accidents, with fatalities commonly occurring for both the elephant and the mahout.
Unfortunately, in Thailand, there are currently no laws to prevent this abuse and mistreatment. Therefore there is an urgent need to help these animals.