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Goal: 40,000 Progress: 10,098
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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

Apr 17, 2018 C. Marshall Are there Humane and Sustainable ways of working with these animals??
Apr 15, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 13, 2018 Ratna Chandra
Apr 12, 2018 Kristine Richter
Apr 11, 2018 Lisa vasta
Apr 10, 2018 Toby Cardoso
Apr 9, 2018 Shawnda Drennen-Schwartz
Apr 8, 2018 Brigitte Hecht
Apr 6, 2018 Tammy Jeter
Apr 6, 2018 Jo Cairns
Apr 5, 2018 Erin McCarty
Apr 5, 2018 Maureen Wheeler
Apr 5, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 5, 2018 Jackie Byrd
Apr 5, 2018 Siegrid Berman
Apr 5, 2018 Tilly Hancock
Apr 3, 2018 Megan Speight
Apr 2, 2018 Theresa Boisseau
Apr 2, 2018 Gloria Navan These gentle creatures are suffering tremendously for the entertainment of tourists. Let’s get lots of publicity to make tourist dollars disappear when they realize what’s happening to these elephants.
Apr 2, 2018 christine resch
Mar 30, 2018 carri perani-welsh
Mar 29, 2018 Giustina Casale-Morton
Mar 29, 2018 Lucia Sanford
Mar 29, 2018 Wendy Gaston
Mar 29, 2018 kelly mcgouran
Mar 28, 2018 Dallene Weaver
Mar 28, 2018 Cynthia Wilcox
Mar 28, 2018 Maria Conceiçao
Mar 27, 2018 Valerie Cranmer
Mar 27, 2018 Nichole Lowe
Mar 27, 2018 Jill King
Mar 27, 2018 Conny Kayser
Mar 27, 2018 Llauren Peralta
Mar 27, 2018 Greg Brockway
Mar 27, 2018 Laura Krause
Mar 27, 2018 Laura Simet
Mar 27, 2018 Petra Stadtmueller
Mar 26, 2018 Lana Huseynova
Mar 26, 2018 Mieke Veldeman
Mar 26, 2018 Jorge Balseiro
Mar 25, 2018 Vittorio Renda
Mar 25, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 25, 2018 Carol De Hart
Mar 25, 2018 mary peteinaraki
Mar 25, 2018 vanyoska gee
Mar 25, 2018 Chris Sterry
Mar 25, 2018 Pam Sheeler
Mar 25, 2018 Roberta Norris
Mar 25, 2018 Rita Wolff
Mar 25, 2018 Yolanda Arreola It's wrong

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