This project enables mahouts and their Elephants to live back in their home community in Huay Pakoot, a Karen community in Northern Thailand. This means that these elephants and their mahouts are offered an alternative livelihood away from working in the tourist camps and street begging. GVI Chiang Mai have partnered with the mahouting village & work alongside them in reintegrating the elephants back into the forest as well as improving livelihoods and job opportunities for community members.
Street begging and working in tourist camps significantly reduces the life expectancy of these endangered species. It diminishes their high cultural importance and places individuals in inhumane living conditions. Funds are desperately needed to run our forest reintroduction program and support these beautiful elephants. Mahouts and owners join our education and alternative livelihoods program along with their elephants to ensure they have an alternative, sustainable form of work
Living in the forest has a tremendous impact on elephant's psychological & physical health and it dramatically increases their life expectancy. We would like to host a sustainable, breeding population of elephants in the forest. Each new elephant that joins the rescued herd increases chances of long-term success for this population. We observe the elephants to understand their behavior & help mitigate human/elephant conflict. We also educate children about elephants & conservation.
We plan to host a sustainable, breeding population of elephants living naturally in the forest. Each new elephant that joins the rescued herd increases the chances of long-term success for this growing population of elephants in the forest. We also work closely with the village to create a self-sustaining eco-tourism project here, that they have ownership of. This provides important income for the villagers and allows the elephants' mahouts to stay with them in the community.