Monsoon Valley event helps to highlight plight of elephants in Thailand

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Monsoon Valley Vineyard in Hua Hin held a double celebration on Friday (Aug 12) for Mother’s Day and World Elephant Day.

The event saw the elephants from the neighboring Baan Khok Chang Elephant Sanctuary given fruit, with children from the local community also invited along to take part in activities and play games.

While guests were invited to take photos alongside the elephants, there was a much more important reason for holding the event than the inevitable selfies.

The event in part helped to highlight the plight of elephants in Thailand, many of which have been left without food and care as a result of the collapse of the tourism industry due to COVID-19.

“We want to use the event to send out the message of the importance of ethical behaviour towards animals in the tourism industry”, Guido Campigotto, General Manager of Food and Beverage at Monsoon Valley told Hua Hin Today.

“Since COVID, many elephant sanctuaries in Thailand are in need of support”, Guido said.

“In the past, the sanctuaries relied on income generated from tourism but over the last two years the situation for the sanctuaries has become really very traumatic”.

There are an estimated 2,000 elephants involved in the tourism industry in Thailand, with the industry as a whole now starting to shift towards more ethical and humane experiences for the elephants.

Sanctuaries where elephants are free to live in more natural environments have replaced the traditional camps where many elephants used in the tourism industry were once kept.

As awareness among tourists grows regarding harsh treatments and the animals being used for commercial gain, activities such as elephant rides and performance shows are thankfully losing their appeal.

Despite tourists now starting to return to Thailand following an absence of more than two years, the future for many elephant sanctuaries in the country remains precarious.

For this reason, Monsoon Valley has teamed up with ‘Lek’ Saengduean Chailert, the founder of Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai and Save Elephant Foundation.

Lek, who is an award winning conservationist, has dedicated her life to protecting elephants and has rescued more than 200 distressed elephants from Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia over the past twenty years.

“We hope that this event sends out the message of how people can donate, even if it is just a small amount of money, to organisations such as the Save Elephant Foundation”, Guido said.

And it’s not only elephants that Lek and her team at the Elephant Nature Park are providing assistance for.

She has also offered shelter and assistance to Russian and Ukrainian tourists who were stranded in Thailand following the outbreak of the war between the countries.

“Lek, she’s amazing, she is doing a wonderful job and that’s why we are happy to offer our support to the Save Elephant Foundation, Guido added.

Anyone interested in donating to the Save Elephant Foundation can do so via:

Bangkok Bank
423-073-689-6

Donations help to provide food, care and support for rescued elephants.

You can read more about the Save Elephant Foundation here: https://saveelephant.org/

More information on Monsoon Valley can be found here: https://www.monsoonvalley.com/en

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