Over three years ago, the Thai government confiscated 21 elephants from a camp in Kanchanaburi. It was believed that the elephants did not have proper documentation. These elephants were used for trekking, elephant shows and were also rented to other facilities.
Finally, after a very long court battle and lots of legal expenses, the owners were able to prove that the elephants were indeed legally owned and captive bred.
They won the right to keep their elephants.
Since the confiscation trials, their business also went down. They had lost their good name, it was thought that they used their elephants for illegal logging. Tour companies did not want to sell tours to this camp. To cover court costs, they had to sell a lot of their assets.
After this long ordeal, they can finally recover their elephants, but now they do not have to money to care for them or hire mahouts. With no other choice, they decided to sell these elephants to anyone who is interested. Before Save Elephant Foundation could intervene, two babies had already been sold.
Our founder Lek Chailert and elephant advocate Khun Nuna Silpa Archa have been paying close attention to this case for a long time. Now that the court case is over, the elephants can no longer stay at the government facility.
Lek and Khun Nuna could not resist the opportunity to buy these elephants some time. If there was any chance that we could save the remaining baby elephants from being separated from their mothers and sold to perform in circuses or elephant shows, we had to try. Also, some of the other elephants are older, partly blind or have mental problems.
Two mothers with their young daughters have won their freedom thanks to Khun Nuna Silpa Archa. They will never be separated. The youngest, 2 yr old Hansa has even escaped the brutal breaking ceremony.