Elephant Rescue at the Elephant Conservation Center of Laos

Since 2009, ElefantAsia and Us-based charity Elephants Umbrella Fund join forces to identify and rescue elephants in need.

A plea from Connie Speight, Elephants Umbrella Funds founder:

connie

Elephants are gigantic and so is their mental capacity, being the fourth most intelligent mammal on the planet. They get five stars in parenting, have a dynamic social structure and live as long as humans. The Asian elephant has been man's companion, work animal, religious icon and national symbol. These ties are centuries old, yet man is turning a blind eye to their plight.

Asian elephants are rapidly headed toward extinction. Their numbers are estimated at only 45,000. That is one fourth of the African elephant population. The main threats to the remaining animals are habitat loss, low birth rates, agriculture, poachers, illegal logging and the tourist industry. It has been widely estimated that at the current mortality rate, within 45 years there will be no viable Asian elephant population left!

EUF is deeply concerned with the plight of both domestic and wild elephants. Unemployed elephants are forced into street begging or work as taxis, hauling tourists long hours in the heat of the day. Some work in the illegal logging trade. Frequently they are severely beaten or given steroids and amphetamines to make them work 10 to 12 hours each day. Death or severe emotional trauma is the most common result of this type of treatment. Many of our rescued elephants have been severely traumatized.

Since 2009, a partnership was initiated between EUF and ElefantAsia to identify and rescue elephants exploited by the logging industry in Laos. In 2014, 7 elephants have been saved thanks to this joint rescue programme. All elephants have been taken to the Elephant Conservation Center of Laos, in Sayaboury province, and while one of our rescues died of liver disease, the remaining 6 are now in great shape and well cared after by a team of experienced vets and mahouts.

Please help us continue our rescue effort if you can.