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Goal: 40,000 Progress: 9,229
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The illegal elephant trade is surging in Thailand, propelled by the tourism and entertainment industries. At the center of it all is the horrifying Surin Elephant Festival.

Held annually, this deplorable spectacle serves as both a venue for the sale of illegally poached wild elephants, and a major tourist attraction. Once captured, these gregarious animals are confined, beaten, deprived of sleep and food, and ultimately "broken" for a lifetime of labor. As many as 300 elephants per year shuffle through the festival grounds.

Worst of all, Surin's elephant trafficking hinges upon the illegal capture and sale of babies, torn from their mothers in the wild during the vitally important infancy period.

Elephant labor is pivotal to the Thai economy, making a blanket prohibition virtually impossible. Instead, we must offer economically and environmentally viable alternatives for the elephants and their handlers ("mahouts").

Join us in asking the Thai government to phase out the elephant entertainment industry by:

  1. prohibiting the sale and trade of baby elephants at the Surin Elephant Festival, and
  2. funding the maintenance and expansion of Elephant Nature Park, a nonprofit that creates sanctuaries in which elephants roam freely and their mahouts earn a living wage. (Read more by clicking "More about this issue…" below.)

Compliance with each of these requests would not only create a real, long-term alternative to elephant exploitation, but also significantly slow the pace of trafficking in Thailand.

With as few as 900 wild elephants left in Thailand, the time to take action is now! Sign below to demand that the Surin Provincial Governor take real steps to end elephant exploitation!

Sign Here

Dear Surin Provincial Governor,

For years, we have been heartbroken to watch as hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent, healthy elephants are torn from their habitats, confined, beaten, and "broken" in the name of entertainment at the Surin Elephant Festival.

Not only are Surin's performances inhumane and abusive, the elephant trafficking that this event encourages hinges upon the illegal capture and sale of wild calves, separated from their mothers during the vitally important infancy period.

We would, of course, love to see this exploitative festival put to an end, but we understand that this situation is complex. A blanket ban would leave hundreds of elephants homeless and even more mahouts out of work, not to mention do nothing to shrink the role of elephant labor in the Thai economy.

We therefore propose a two-part solution that’s a win-win for all parties. We urge that you:

  1. outlaw the sale of all baby elephants, wild or domesticated, at the Surin Festival. In the short term, this will ensure calves stay with their mothers in the wild until they are fully weaned (around age 10). In the long term, this will greatly reduce the number of trafficked elephants in general, as adults are significantly more difficult to capture than calves.
  2. begin endorsing the maintenance and expansion of Elephant Nature Park. If supported, Elephant Nature Park sanctuaries can provide employment for mahouts, as well as healthy, happy living conditions for “retired” elephants.

Compliance with these requests will not only create a sustainable alternative to elephant exploitation, but also significantly slow the pace of trafficking in Thailand, and potentially phase it out completely.

With as few as 900 wild elephants left in Thailand, the time to take action is now. Please commit to ending elephant exploitation before it’s too late.


Petition Signatures

Sep 19, 2017 Alice Vance
Sep 19, 2017 Antonia Powell
Sep 19, 2017 Setsuko Yamamoto
Sep 18, 2017 Karen Moore
Sep 18, 2017 Ankita Jain
Sep 18, 2017 (Name not displayed) This inhumane practice needs to stop!!!! The elephants need to be protected before they are gone I have collected elephants my entire life I have a Xmas tree with elephant ornaments! I cannot imagine a world without elephants
Sep 18, 2017 Sheila Massoni
Sep 18, 2017 Ilse Maene
Sep 17, 2017 Elaine Yannuzzi
Sep 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 17, 2017 Melisa Patel
Sep 16, 2017 Emma Cook She doesn’t belong there , do the right thing please would u let a human live like this ???
Sep 16, 2017 (Name not displayed) Let the elephants be free
Sep 15, 2017 Joshua Cox Stop! Animals aren't for entertainment.
Sep 15, 2017 janice hume
Sep 15, 2017 Susan Kahan
Sep 15, 2017 Bree Foth
Sep 15, 2017 Nicole Hetherington
Sep 15, 2017 sarah Langley
Sep 15, 2017 Alison Allen
Sep 15, 2017 Gardenia Gardener
Sep 15, 2017 Samantha Kessler This cruelty has to stop.
Sep 15, 2017 Andrea Bach-y-Rita
Sep 15, 2017 Judith Pusztai Who ever brang her here should have to return her, this is barbaric, send her home
Sep 15, 2017 Emilia Ashby
Sep 15, 2017 Agnes Andersson
Sep 15, 2017 June Haigh
Sep 15, 2017 Joseph Santana All Animals belong free.....
Sep 15, 2017 Roberta Wraith
Sep 15, 2017 Susan Hopf
Sep 15, 2017 Sue Greisen
Sep 15, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 14, 2017 Sanya Djonic
Sep 14, 2017 Janet Van Swoll
Sep 14, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 14, 2017 Natalie Garza
Sep 14, 2017 Camilla d'Errico
Sep 14, 2017 Ruth Smith
Sep 14, 2017 Russ Crombie
Sep 14, 2017 Ann Stolberg
Sep 14, 2017 Sandra Spears
Sep 14, 2017 SUSAN WHATLEY
Sep 14, 2017 Lauri Moon
Sep 11, 2017 Liliana Elliot
Sep 11, 2017 yvonne Ryder
Sep 11, 2017 Rachel Fontaine
Sep 7, 2017 Kaydee Lewis
Sep 7, 2017 Karen Lawrence Please let them live freely and safely.
Sep 6, 2017 Dee Kruger
Sep 6, 2017 Kathleen Mills

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