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Goal: 40,000 Progress: 9,157
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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

Aug 22, 2017 Paula Kennon
Aug 20, 2017 robin Eldridge
Aug 20, 2017 Shelley Dorgan
Aug 20, 2017 Julie Reid
Aug 20, 2017 George Debono
Aug 20, 2017 Melissa Bird
Aug 20, 2017 Karen Orner
Aug 20, 2017 Diana Martins Elephants are precious to me. They deserve freedom and be happy! Please help them!
Aug 18, 2017 Sherry Bell When the elephants of the world are in critical danger from being killed, exploited and now this - again all for money , money - it all comes down to greed at the expense of these endangered animals please put a stop to the enslavement elephan elephants
Aug 18, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 18, 2017 Anna Mai Van
Aug 16, 2017 Mandy Alden
Aug 15, 2017 Penny Fleischman
Aug 15, 2017 Tracy Anger
Aug 15, 2017 Elena Lange
Aug 14, 2017 Juliane Rocha
Aug 14, 2017 Lyn S
Aug 13, 2017 Leigha Henson Go vegetarian/vegan. You can end farm animal suffering as well as wild animal suffering because of global warming and deforestation.
Aug 12, 2017 Mario Rocha
Aug 12, 2017 Sue Hayward
Aug 11, 2017 Leslie Wingerath
Aug 10, 2017 susan chapman
Aug 10, 2017 Ashley Waller
Aug 10, 2017 Katie Popiel
Aug 10, 2017 Ellen Seeherman
Aug 10, 2017 Robert DeFlurin
Aug 10, 2017 Theresa Crovello
Aug 10, 2017 Diane Hall
Aug 9, 2017 david Mcadams
Aug 8, 2017 Donna Gilbert
Aug 8, 2017 Jerri Berg
Aug 8, 2017 Thanassis Tartas
Aug 8, 2017 Joanne Koulavongsa
Aug 8, 2017 Joanne Raby
Aug 7, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 7, 2017 Gay Johnson If animals treated us like we treat them, there'd be less abuse by humans
Aug 7, 2017 Robin Stowe
Aug 7, 2017 James Boneberg
Aug 7, 2017 Justine Boneberg
Aug 7, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 7, 2017 mandy Verbrugge
Aug 7, 2017 Cynthia Palmer
Aug 5, 2017 T Vandenberg
Aug 5, 2017 Rosemarie Weiler
Aug 5, 2017 Lin Manners
Aug 5, 2017 Anne Åkerblom
Aug 5, 2017 TANYA M BURT Please help show the world, that humanity has not lost all common sense, compassion and kindness.
Aug 5, 2017 Hélène Théoret
Aug 5, 2017 Marie Darrah
Aug 5, 2017 Niina Anttinen

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