Animal rights campaigners have been at the heart of a long-standing battle to save elephants from the tourism trekking industries across Thailand. Samui Elephant Haven is one of the largest truly ethical sanctuaries in the Kingdom, with 14 elephants in their care. One of their elephants is Sudarat. She is the grande dame of the sanctuary that has been running since 2018 under the guidance of Lek Chailert from the world-famed Elephant Nature Park.
Sudarat has spent most of her life in chains and forcefully guided with a bullhook in Thailand’s logging and trekking industries. Her body is broken from the abuse that she has received. She had so many injuries, and her soul was full of fear. Since arriving at Samui Elephant Haven, she’s had the opportunity to heal and blossom. In the wild, elephants will always have a matriarch of the herd. She will care for the youngsters and keep mischievous babies in line. Sudarat naturally became the nanny at the Haven. For the last couple of years, she has known nothing other than kindness from her keepers and love from her herd.
On Friday, 1 October, Sudarat’s official owner takes her away from Samui Elephant Haven and her beloved herd. Unless the Haven can meet the demands to buy Sudarat, she will again be subjected to bullhooks, tied up in chains, and stand-alone. Elephants need companionship; they need their family. Can you imagine the trauma that Sudarat and her beautiful herd will face if she is taken away? A truck is already booked for her return to ‘work’.
Is This Rags to Riches and Back Again?
Elephants are expensive – $47,000 expensive. Samui Elephant Haven has exactly seven days to raise funds, and they desperately need your help. There is a thought that the world was created in seven days. Can we help Sudarat in the same time? Seven days to raise $7,000 each day. There are a few ways that you can help.
Donate to the Save Sudarat fundraiser, buy a colouring book or even enjoy an elephant cake. Some very kind artists have donated some gifts for those that contribute. For each donation or every $50 donated, Samui Elephant Haven will add your name into a draw allowing you to receive a beautifully hand-drawn picture of Sudarat, a piece of handcrafted silver jewellery or a tee shirt.
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