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British expat petitions government to help desperate elephants, handlers

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PHOTOS: Infinity Communications

The closure of elephant camps and sanctuary-style tourist attraction throughout the northeastern provinces has left thousands of elephants facing starvation. Some have made the long march back to their home villages, where their arrival is creating more problems than it solves.

Susan Field, a British citizen living in Koh Samui, yesterday presented a petition with nearly 65,000 signatures to the Thai government asking them to provide urgent financial aid for elephants and their handlers, who have received no income since tourists disappeared at the start of the outbreak.

“The future for elephants in Thailand looks extremely grim. In order to make a few baht, the mahouts may take their elephants back to begging in the streets or other cruel and degrading activities. Do these magnificent animals, your national symbol, deserve this? I don’t believe they do.”

If this tragic and desperate situation deteriorates further, and elephants begin to starve to death, Field believes it will have an extremely negative and adverse effect on Thailand’s tourism industry.

The petition has 2 specific requirements…
• Immediate and regular financial aid to help these elephants, their mahouts and families to have food and shelter – particularly in this critical time.
• To consider issuing a law to keep elephants safe and protected.

“I respectfully ask you to use your influence – and your hearts – to demonstrate your reverence for the elephant, your national symbol. Please do not leave them starving and suffering.”

British expat petitions government to help desperate elephants, handlers | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Infinity Communications

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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