The COVID-19 pandemic is not only affecting people, but it’s also branching out to nature. Even though the more immediate danger of the virus is absolutely terrifying, we should not turn a blind eye to the ripple effect it’s causing. In Northern Thailand, hundreds of elephants were left displaced after tourism in the country came to a halt.
Save Elephant Foundation, a local organization taking care of the current elephant crisis, for some additional information.
All the elephants that were involved in trekking and other tourist activities now face a very bleak future unless immediate action is taken without delay. Saengduean Lek Chailert (“Lek”), founder of Elephant Nature Park (ENP) and Save Elephant Foundation (SEF), is now working on introducing sustainable farming programs to help the many elephants and their owners who have been forced to return to their native villages.
Lek said, “The situation is very, very serious. They literally have nowhere else to go. And so they have gone home,”
He also added saying
There are hundreds of elephants trekking many miles with their mahouts (elephant carers), who have little or no food to sustain them on their journey. Once they arrive back in their native village, there is little or no money to feed them—certainly not on an ongoing basis.
“That is why planning now for a sustainable future is the only way forward,” he said