The land of ancient temples, tropical beaches and, of course, elephants! Get to know one of the most visited countries in the world in a way very few have; with love and respect for animals!
Why do we like Thailand?
Because we still remember the explosion of flavours on our palate. The colourful overexposure of stimuli in our eyes as we stroll through its cities and temples. The white sand between our toes. But if we have to keep one thing from Thailand, we have it clear: the best thing about our trip was having lived with and enjoyed some incredible and surprising beings; the elephants.
What happens to elephants in Thailand?
It's simple: tourist activities such as elephant rides and elephant shows are one of the country's main sources of income. In addition, it is a tradition to use elephants as labour in the logging industry. This results in hundreds of elephants being stolen from their mothers' arms as babies to be trained and exploited. Living in a habitat that is not their own and in often terrible conditions (chained, with little space, carrying weights they cannot bear, without enough water or food, etc.), they fall ill or die.
Today the Asian elephant is in danger of extinction. In Thailand there are only 5,000 left, 3,800 of which are in captivity, according to Faada data. Several organisations have denounced that captive elephants in the tourism industry are mistreated, with very aggressive methods to force them to perform activities that are unnatural for them such as riding, drawing, cuddling and bathing with tourists, circus and shows, etc. To achieve this, they use "Pajaan", the Thai method of taming elephants, which involves isolation and torture to "break their spirit".
Fortunately, projects such as the sanctuary with which we collaborate who rescue and take in elephants that are victims of exploitation. They offer them a new home and a dignified life surrounded by nature and companions.
What is the situation of the dogs?
In 2011, catastrophic floods inundated Bangkok. The water almost reached the roofs of the houses, and to walk through the streets, you had to go by boat. Thousands of abandoned or stray dogs were in desperate straits: many drowned, others were trapped in street furniture, many were disabled.
The rescue centre of elephants of Chiang Mai took in 155 dogs to give them a second chance at life. They created a dog hospital and a volunteer programme to give them love, care for them and help them live as dignified lives as possible. In addition, the project now also rescues animals that are victims of the illegal dog meat trade in Vietnam and Laos. Currently, the location of the dogs is being changed to make them more comfortable.
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