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Elephants walking from Pattaya to Surin get a lift

Neill Fronde



FILE PHOTO: The elephants walking from Pattaya to Surin have caught a ride.

The families and their 5 elephants that have been walking from Pattaya to Surin have now received some help, and are travelling by truck thanks to an anonymous donor. As previously reported, after more than a year of waiting for borders to reopen from the Covid-19 pandemic and tourism to begin to return, the families were forced to give up hope and begin their long 500 km journey back to their home town. They had begun the walk 5 days ago and had said that they could not afford trucks to transport the elephants. Now thanks to the Thai Elephant Alliance and an anonymous donor, 6 trucks have come to help move the elephants, plus another extra elephant in a similar situation, all the way across the country from Pattaya to Surin and Buriram.

The families had accepted donations of fruit, food and water for the walking elephants, but had refused many offers for cash donations for fear of the appearance that they were exploiting the elephants and the journey for their own financial gain. They had been working at an elephant resort in the Pattaya area for several years, making a decent living off salary and tips, mainly from Chinese tourists. But with tourism all-but-dead for over a year, their employers at the elephant resort could no longer afford to pay them and the family set off on the journey home.

The owners expressed heartfelt thanks to the Thai Elephant Alliance, commenting that the trucks will save them many weeks of walking across the whole of Thailand. When they arrive home to Surin, they will return to farming life where the elephants will live in wide-open natural spaces. The family said they considered the elephant’s part of their family, and many of the family members have grown up with the 5 elephants as a part of their lives. While they said that they would consider returning to Pattaya if tourism returns to its previous glory, they said they had no immediate plans and instead had just decided it was time for the family and the elephants alike to relax after all that walking.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News


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  1. Avatar


    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    We all love a happy ending.

  2. Avatar

    Roger Bruce

    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    Something nice in Thailand for a change

    Lovely to see

    Good Luck Thailand

  3. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    Why the big charity for these elephants.
    I know where the were operating, sky high prices, so much that no Thais could ride on them.
    They made a good living from charging ferangs top prices.
    Well, ferangs cannot come, so no more big money.
    This is not an animal charity. This is a Thai scam, who say save the elephants.
    It is not save the elephants, it is save the Thais that exploit the elephants.
    They were at the far end of Jomtien beach.
    B6oo for a twenty minute ride, B6000 for the whole day.
    There have been many reports of elephant being tortured, just google it.

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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