Three elephants begin their new life away from cruelty
Thanks to your support, elephants Jahn and Chok have their saddles removed after giving their final ride to entertain tourists.
The video shows the happy elephants walking freely at the Eco-tourism Koh Lanta venue in Thailand, now called “Following Giants”.
With help from World Animal Protection, the venue recently transitioned from a traditional trekking camp to an observation-only model, ensuring elephants no longer live a life in cruel captivity.
Joining Jahn and Chok at Following Giants is 55-year old Sow, who has worked in the logging and tourism industry for many decades. After 30 years of being apart, the photos show the emotional moment where Sow and Jahn are reunited, interlocking their trunks.
The opening of Following Giants follows the successful re-launch of fellow Thai observation-only camp, ChangChill earlier last year supported by World Animal Protection to make significant changes.
The transition of both venues gives the elephants the freedom to roam, graze and bathe, while happily socializing with each other. Previously, Eco-tourism Koh Lanta offered elephant rides, bathing experiences and direct interaction with elephants. When not giving rides, these elephants were typically chained, with no shelter from the sun or elements for hours each day.
World Animal Protection Global Head of Wildlife, Audrey Mealia, said:
“These elephants have suffered a lifetime of misery, both in logging and the tourist entertainment industry. They have all undergone the harsh training of the crush in order for them to be safe to interact with.
“Venues like Following Giants and ChangChill are transforming the lives of these elephants allowing them to behave naturally and socialize as they would do in the wild and give them a life worth living. Visitors also get to see how elephants behave in family groups and learn more about this endangered species.
“Venues that offer tourists a chance to watch elephants in genuine sanctuaries give us hope that we can encourage the urgently-needed shift in the captive elephant tourism industry.”
Following Giants will reopen for the main tourist season from December 2019 to March 2020.