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Goal: 40,000 Progress: 8,689
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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

Mar 28, 2017 Valéria Menicucci
Mar 25, 2017 Rebecca Arena
Mar 25, 2017 Kyriaki P
Mar 25, 2017 Fay Tahmassbi
Mar 25, 2017 Alice VanKoevering
Mar 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 24, 2017 Stephanie Rizzo
Mar 23, 2017 Janet Edwards
Mar 23, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 22, 2017 Karolina Blecharczyk
Mar 20, 2017 Susan Harmon
Mar 20, 2017 Deborah Bortot
Mar 20, 2017 Ea Eilimo
Mar 20, 2017 CRAIG LOGAN
Mar 20, 2017 Pamela Llewellyn
Mar 20, 2017 Jamie Sandusky
Mar 20, 2017 Michele Manuel
Mar 20, 2017 Pia Heyn
Mar 20, 2017 Lone Klitgaard
Mar 20, 2017 Diane Brown
Mar 20, 2017 julie munson
Mar 20, 2017 Jennifer Lindridge
Mar 20, 2017 Hildegarde Woodworth Elephants are our gift from nature. They are so human like. Please help them.Thank you.
Mar 18, 2017 Virginia Ilardi
Mar 18, 2017 MARY CLAUSING
Mar 18, 2017 JANE Rosa
Mar 17, 2017 corinne etancelin
Mar 17, 2017 geri perry
Mar 17, 2017 Elizabeth Goudge
Mar 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 17, 2017 Sandra Leaper Thailand Government: Please take steps to end the exploitation of elephants at the world's largest elephant festival.
Mar 17, 2017 Audrey Farrelly
Mar 17, 2017 John & Saundra Mercer How can people look at the cruelty these elephants live with and think this is entertainment? What king of people are they?
Mar 17, 2017 Ana Nieto
Mar 16, 2017 Nancy Brown
Mar 16, 2017 Laura Moore
Mar 16, 2017 Dorothy Kroger
Mar 16, 2017 Linda McKeever
Mar 15, 2017 Lisa Weston Bialy
Mar 15, 2017 T. Fitzgerald
Mar 15, 2017 Andreas Sachs
Mar 14, 2017 Cathleen Cascia
Mar 12, 2017 Dominique Barre
Mar 12, 2017 Bambi Magie
Mar 11, 2017 Adelina Jaudal
Mar 11, 2017 Kathryn Johanessen
Mar 11, 2017 Susan Dixon

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Elephant in the Garden Grande Mug
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