I have been involved in asian elephant conservation for more than 20 years. In Thailand the drastic decrease in the population is shocking, in the 1900's there were more than 100,000 elephants in Thailand, today there are less than 5000 ( about 3500 capture and 1500 wild) Just imagine in one hundred years a decline of 95% !!!
In Africa today there are more than 500,000 elephants that is some African States culling is periodically carried out. I suspect that this is planned mismanagement so that the lucrative ivory trade can continue.
In the whole of Asia there are at most 50,000 elephants apread over the follow countries: India, Srilangka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, Laos Cambodia, China and Thailand. I formed ELEFRIENDS about 6 years ago to help the Asian elephants and the northern hilltribes and to do reforestation projects to help slow down global warming.
We work with a conservation group called Elephant Nature Foundation, (www.elephantnaturefoundation.org) that runs an elephant santuary about 70km north of Chiangmai. Right now we have 35 elephants with various disabilities, including old age and some with mental problems due to ill-treatment.
I arrange regular trips with schools and green groups to visit to do conservation, reforestation and social projects with the hilltribes. The lastest school to attend were SMU, UWCSEA, Temasek Polytechnic and Chong Boon Secondary School and trip varried from a week to 3 weeks.
About 4 years ago, we helped raise about $6000 for medicines etc to help 2 bady elephants (Mo-Too,2 ½ years and Mo-Jay, 6 years) who stepped on landmines in Burma.
Our next project would be to buy and rescue a street begging young elephant at Phuket. You can help by fund raising with your friends, School or office colleges. Find out more on this on my next update.
My next trip to Chiangmai will be around 10th April 2009 to not only visit the Elephant Nature Park but to take part in the annual, really fun water festival; Songkram, where everybody get splahed. If you can, come join me.
Cheers,Grant W Pereira
The Green Volunteers
Mobile 65 96840950