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Goal: 40,000 Progress: 8,563
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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

Feb 22, 2017 Stacey MacIsaac Animals are not for our entertainment....period!!!! Are humans that greedy? Is money really that important to us??? Let these creatures go and live a peaceful, meant to be life in the wild....Stop with this torturing!!!!!!
Feb 21, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 21, 2017 Anna Fisher
Feb 20, 2017 Cara Ammon
Feb 20, 2017 loredana belloni
Feb 20, 2017 Brooke Goodhue
Feb 20, 2017 Roxanne Becker
Feb 19, 2017 de car ENOUGH
Feb 19, 2017 Margaret Walker
Feb 19, 2017 Dulcie Camp
Feb 19, 2017 Sally Selwood
Feb 19, 2017 Sara Barford
Feb 19, 2017 Craig Sheppard
Feb 18, 2017 Natalia Smirnova
Feb 18, 2017 Gary W. Dolgin Junk this "man has dominion over the Earth"-bullshit! We may be the apex predator, but we don't have to be the apex ignoramus. Whatever it takes to expand wildlife habitat, DO IT!
Feb 18, 2017 Margherita Pinto
Feb 18, 2017 Lisa Whipple
Feb 18, 2017 Bernadette CUELLAR
Feb 18, 2017 diane rockafellow
Feb 18, 2017 Robin Abbott
Feb 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 17, 2017 Kathleen Williams
Feb 17, 2017 Melinda M.Norman
Feb 17, 2017 Irene Souder-Coyle Entertainment? There are plenty of other ways to entertain tourists than exploitation of animals. Time to come into the 21st Century and stop this "festival" altogether.
Feb 17, 2017 jan pepper
Feb 16, 2017 Josefiina Seppälä
Feb 16, 2017 Sheila Ward
Feb 16, 2017 M Kent
Feb 16, 2017 Kathy Tobey
Feb 16, 2017 Setsuko Maruki-Fox
Feb 16, 2017 Kerry Lang
Feb 16, 2017 Anna Savo
Feb 16, 2017 Denise Knecht
Feb 16, 2017 Gail Roberts
Feb 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 15, 2017 Sheila Dalton
Feb 15, 2017 Nico Sandman
Feb 14, 2017 Tammy Ferrell
Feb 14, 2017 madeleine dao
Feb 14, 2017 Vik Cooke
Feb 13, 2017 Perrine FRINDEL
Feb 13, 2017 Gill Reeves
Feb 13, 2017 Claude Roulet
Feb 12, 2017 Timna Pilch
Feb 12, 2017 Alicia Angelica
Feb 12, 2017 Karen Supplee Animals deserve to live their lives free.
Feb 12, 2017 Diane Beylen
Feb 12, 2017 andree leplay
Feb 11, 2017 (Name not displayed)

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