Wild Elephant Projects
Despite all our work with captive elephants we firmly believe that an elephant’s true place is in the wild and have come to the realisation that an Asian forest needs elephants to stay healthy – much as we need forests in order for us to stay healthy. As such we support projects that are determined to keep all wild elephants wild and allow them to thrive in the forests they maintain either by one off donations or through several on-going projects.
The Wild Elephant Count in Kui Buri Royal Project Area
Kui Buri National Park is a 16,000 hectare area of reclaimed agricultural land located in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. The Elephant Count is designed to obtain information on the number and demographics of wild elephants in the area. GTAEF contributes both financially and physically with the annual count, as well as contributing to the reforestation of the area by planting 2,000 trees. The wild elephant count is the initiative of Thailand’s Wild Elephant Lover Club and it is through this organisation that we channel our support.
Wild Elephant Protection in Salakphra Wildlife Sanctuary
Working through the Elephant Conservation Network we have supported projects to implement training for National Park Rangers and have subsidised work into the elephant use of different areas of the park – the greater knowledge we have of how elephants use the land available to them the better we can design protected areas. Well designed protected areas aim to allow elephants to be comfortable within their boundaries and refrain from targeting farmers’ crops, something that leads to conflict, deaths and injuries of elephants and humans. We have also funded a study into the suitability of currently unprotected land as an elephant corridor – the report recommended that the land be protected as soon as possible and is currently being considered by the relevant parties.
Elephant Corridor in the Cambodian Cardamoms
Through local partner Wildlife Alliance we, along with our parent company, Minor International, have committed to the protection of 18,000 hectares of standing forest in the Cambodian Cardamom mountains, this forest forms the only remaining link between elephant territories to the South and to the East while our ‘neighbours’ are economic concessions whose forest has been totally removed and commercial crops planted. In March 2013 our trackers spotted dung and footprints proving that elephants are indeed using this corridor as we had hoped.
Royal Reintroduction Foundation
The Royal Reintroduction Foundation under the auspices of Her Majesty the Queen of Thailand undertakes to find scientific and practical methods to release captive elephants into the wild. In 2012 we donated our first street begging rescue, Plai Tawan, to them to help this cause. We get regular updates on all of their elephants from http://elephantreintroduction.blogspot.com