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Goal: 40,000 Progress: 9,587
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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

Jan 22, 2018 Robert Furem
Jan 22, 2018 Gail Miller
Jan 21, 2018 Nathalie Martel
Jan 18, 2018 sandra houghton
Jan 13, 2018 Lisa Harding
Jan 9, 2018 Lynn Gaudette
Jan 7, 2018 Marcelo Gusmao
Jan 7, 2018 Alicyn Rivera
Jan 7, 2018 Chelsea Rivera
Jan 7, 2018 Rhoda Slanger
Jan 5, 2018 Deborah Bell
Jan 2, 2018 Vesna Cajnko
Jan 2, 2018 Patricia Vineski
Jan 2, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 1, 2018 Diana Talbott
Dec 30, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Dec 26, 2017 Lena Hansdotter
Dec 24, 2017 s foley
Dec 23, 2017 Diane Richards Please end animal abuse ...
Dec 19, 2017 t.j. pITTS
Dec 17, 2017 Shara Saunders Thank You for helping the Elephants!
Dec 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Dec 16, 2017 Victoria Wirth Elephants are living, loving, feeling animals.They should never be held captive for the sole pleasure of human beings. Please see to it that all elephants are released to sanctuaries where they can be enjoyed and experienced in their natural habitats
Dec 15, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Dec 15, 2017 Beverley Stewar
Dec 14, 2017 Deborah Zatz
Dec 14, 2017 Linda Bucklin
Dec 13, 2017 Alice Calkins
Dec 11, 2017 A Martin
Dec 6, 2017 Gordon Agnew Unconscionable.
Dec 6, 2017 barbara orwid
Dec 6, 2017 Nitesh Sharma Be human
Dec 5, 2017 Helmut Fischbeck
Dec 5, 2017 Jerry Banks Animals don't belong in zoos.
Dec 5, 2017 Amber McElreath
Dec 5, 2017 Nancy Gallant
Dec 5, 2017 Kathy Rockwell
Dec 5, 2017 Jeff Zimmer
Dec 5, 2017 Peggy Eaker I hope Mali gets set free to a sanctuary and that the long suffering of elephants are stopped n that Asian elephants all animals be protected
Dec 5, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Dec 5, 2017 Sharon Zinck Please release.
Dec 5, 2017 Sharon Bojang
Dec 5, 2017 Christine Sand Please, stop this cruelty!
Dec 5, 2017 Miriam Saraiva
Dec 5, 2017 Sherry Hodskins It is awful how we treat all our beautiful animals! Let’s turn it around!
Dec 4, 2017 Gabrielle Reeves
Dec 4, 2017 Paul Parent
Dec 4, 2017 Elena Sanchez
Dec 4, 2017 Sharon Nelson Horrible, a life sentence in a prison.
Nov 26, 2017 Christine Thisse

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