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Goal: 40,000 Progress: 11,989
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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 17, 2018 Tina Mitchell
Aug 17, 2018 Lyndsey Taylor
Aug 16, 2018 Inge Ness Using these magnificant animals for enrertainment is so wrong,they should enjoy their life in freedom as we do
Aug 16, 2018 Ann Kristin Rasch
Aug 16, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Aug 16, 2018 Betty Camillo
Aug 15, 2018 Heidi Siebens
Aug 15, 2018 Pauline Köhler
Aug 15, 2018 Katarzyna Kirkalo
Aug 14, 2018 Marti Kingwill
Aug 14, 2018 Mitra Pejman
Aug 14, 2018 Marianella Torres
Aug 14, 2018 Emanuela Lenoci
Aug 14, 2018 Martha Eberle
Aug 14, 2018 Meher Behrana
Aug 14, 2018 M T Please BE KIND to these animals! Buddha taught us that.
Aug 13, 2018 Satoko Fujita
Aug 13, 2018 Helena Krolikowski
Aug 13, 2018 Kenia Cruz
Aug 13, 2018 Katherine Whitson
Aug 13, 2018 Caroline Debaille
Aug 13, 2018 Melanie Marbach
Aug 13, 2018 Glen Gregus
Aug 13, 2018 Sophie Benger
Aug 12, 2018 Michelle Gorton
Aug 12, 2018 Andre Meaux
Aug 12, 2018 Linda Tabb
Aug 12, 2018 Lesley Bolton
Aug 12, 2018 Marilyn Conrad
Aug 11, 2018 Jodi Ford
Aug 11, 2018 Martha Soto
Aug 11, 2018 Kimberly a froehlich
Aug 11, 2018 Martha Soto
Aug 11, 2018 Lynn Iverson
Aug 11, 2018 Pamela McIntyre
Aug 10, 2018 Kelly Twat
Aug 10, 2018 manuel guardado
Aug 10, 2018 maria soares
Aug 10, 2018 Maria Luisa Chiodo
Aug 10, 2018 Heli Kukkonen
Aug 10, 2018 Aleasa Crary
Aug 10, 2018 Sherry Barber
Aug 9, 2018 Julie Wild
Aug 9, 2018 Teresa Brooks
Aug 9, 2018 Olga Bogdasheva
Aug 9, 2018 Karen Fedorov
Aug 9, 2018 Brittany Martinez
Aug 9, 2018 stacey condliffe
Aug 9, 2018 Carmen Miranda

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