Elephants in Thailand make their way back home after the coronavirus hit country saw a drop in the number of travellers in the nation due to the pandemic. More than 100 elephants are making the 100 mile-long trek to their natural habitat after resources to upkeep the animals in the commercial elephant camps and sanctuaries started to deplete.
The lack of tourists in the country has caused the facilities which solely depend on the travellers for feeding the elephants to let go of the animals. Elephants eat up to 660 pounds of grass and vegetables in a day. The Save Elephant Foundation from the northern province has been working for the elephants to return to their home grounds. The project was launched after appeals from the owners.
The group promotes an eco-friendly way in which the elephants can be cared for where they live alongside the community. There have been various reports about high-profile tourist facilities abusing the elephants.
The elephants are said to be travelling from Chiang Mai to their homeland of Mae Chaem, where a community keeps the animals in their village. Since the last few months, several elephants have made the travel to their natural habitat. In the Karen community, the villagers care for the elephants and are presently taking care of the returning elephants.
Returning home after years
Several of the elephants would be returning home after years. The elephants are travelling with the few of the owners and the mahouts to the natural habitat. The project of Save Elephants foundation is also active in other parts of Thailand and is trying to save them from the abuse that they have to go through. The elephant owners were sceptical about the end of the coronavirus pandemic leading to the animals being sent back to the forest.
According to New York Post Sadudee Serichevee, who owns four elephants in Chiang Mai's Mae Wang district said that "These elephants have not had a chance to return home for 20 years. They seem to be very happy when arriving home, they make their happy noises, they run to the creek near the village and have fun along with our children." In Thailand, nearly 3,000 cases of coronavirus were reported with 55 deaths according to the John Hopkins data.