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Elephant Smuggling

Elephant Smuggling

STOP Baby Elephant Smuggling

Elephant Family is fighting to STOP the systematic removal of baby elephants from their forest homes. In order to fuel the tourist industry in Thailand, baby elephants are being captured and subjected to a horrific 'domestication' process, before winding up at elephant camps where tourists pose for pictures with them, unaware of the elephant's tragic story.

Right now our campaigns team is lobbying the Thai government to stop the illegal trade. Our campaign is already seeing amazing successes. But to get to where we need to, we urgently need to expose the full extent of the problem and how it is devastating wild populations. We need your help to raise a further £12,000 to fund a series of investigations into this horrific practice.

Only when we are armed with information on trade routes, capture hotspots, and the numbers of elephants crossing borders each year can we equip governments with the intelligence they need to enforce the law and stamp out corruption.

This illegal and brutal cross border trade in wild Asian elephants is a very real threat to remaining populations of the endangered species.

  • Extracted from the forest, baby elephants are separated from their families, and subjected to a brutal practice, where they are tied up, confined, beaten and tortured to break their spirits
  • For every wild caught calf that makes it alive into a camp, it is estimated that up to two others will die from this 'domestication' process, and as many as five others are killed during the capture
  • It is estimated that anywhere between 50-100 calves and young females are being traded across the Thai-Myanmar (Burma) border each year, to supply tourist camps

Our action:

Elephant Family is at the forefront of a campaign to combat illegal elephant smuggling, and is lobbying for a review of outdated existing laws, to protect baby elephants and prevent illegal trade. 

A new report released by Elephant Family and TRAFFIC reveals this despicable trade is so widespread; it’s now posing a serious threat to entire wild populations. Our undercover investigation recorded the capture of 81 wild elephants over 18 months. This is a huge blow to Myanmar’s already fragile population of just 4,000 elephants. However these figures are based on just one report and are scratching the surface. We know that this trade is not confined to Myanmar and Thailand, but is happening across Asia. 

Read the full report for more information.

In conjunction with the Ecologist Film Unit and Link TV, Elephant Family has launched an investigation into the brutal baby elephant smuggling practice. You can watch the report below. 

           If this video is not showing in your browser, you can find it here.

What you can do:

Elephant Family is not calling for a boycott of elephant camps – they rely on tourism to feed and look after those elephants currently in their care – but the systematic removal of Asian elephants from the wild must stop. There are a number of ways you can help  

  • Donate now, and help Elephant Family save baby elephants from the tourist trade 
  • Support us on FacebookTwitter and sign up to our e-news for all the latest updates on Elephant Family work, events and fundraisers