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Take a Load Off: Adopt an Elephant

By Peta Bassett

You’ve just spent 3 days on a trek and time is ticking away. You only have a few remaining hours to pat and coo over the elephant that has lugged you throughout most of the journey. Ever thought of taking it home? The wooden or stuffed variety may be fine, but the real thing could be a little oversized for the average suburban block.

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Adoption is still possible though. You won’t bring a pet elephant home from Thailand but you will be improving their lives in the following ways:

  • Contributing to food and housing, thereby saving them from being a burden on their keepers (mahouts) and the subsequent mistreatment that they often endure.
    Many were formerly used as working animals in the logging and agriculture industries and have now been replaced by modern equipment.
  • Saving them from the illegal logging trade where they are often abused and fed amphetamines to boost productivity.
  • Keeping them off the noisy, polluted streets of Bangkok where their keepers sell fruit to tourists who in turn feed and pose for snaps with the elephants.
    Some break free and are a danger to themselves as well as pedestrians and traffic. As a consequence they have been banned from the city streets.
  • Protecting them from ivory poachers.
  • Saving wild elephant mothers from being killed when their calves are stolen and sold to be domesticated.
  • Healing elephants that fall victim to landmines.
  • Giving refuge to wild elephants threatened with the loss of their habitat due to deforestation.

For minimum donation of 999 Baht (approx. US$25) per year, you will receive:

  • A signed adoption certificate
  • Your elephant’s photograph
  • WWF Thailand updates.

If you adopt an elephant at an early age, you may even have the opportunity to name your new family member. Get those baby name books out today!

And of course, there’s no better way to improve the life of a friend, especially one that has carried you through thick and thin in the jungles of Thailand.

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