This past winter, Alliance for Animals’ Elephants Living Free coordinator Julie Grosso traveled to Elephant Nature Park in Thailand to educate herself about wild elephants first hand in her efforts to put an end to the use of elephants in circuses, particularly here in Dane County.
Julie recently received distressing news about the Nature Park and some of the elephants that she befriended. One such elephant is Jokia (pictured above), who is blind, who gets along well at the nature park with the help of human caretakers and her fellow elephant Mae Perm.
It is our wish that Alliance for Animals members and supporters will take some time to write a letter of concern to several national news sources. Normally, AFA focuses on local Wisconsin issues, but our ties to the Elephant Nature Park, through Julie, has moved us to move outside our normal boundaries and ask for your help on this issue.
Here is Julie’s message. Following her message is a list of addresses where you can address your concerns. Please forward this! Thank you.
As you know, I decided to learn more about elephants by going to the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand. What I learned helps me protect the elephants here at home.
All of the elephants at the park are rescued from abuse by Thailand’s lucrative trekking industry and illegal logging operation. Most of the elephants have severe disabilities such as landmine injuries, broken hips, and some are blind.
Recently the Elephant Nature Park (Chiang Mai, Thailand) was raided by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP). They are claiming that the park has wild elephants without paperwork. Given the disabilities the elephants have, this raises the question as to why the DNP thinks these elephants can be from the wild.
One of the elephants (Jokia), who is blind, was shot by a slingshot. Jokia gave birth while working (logging) and her baby rolled down a mountain and died. Jokia had to continue to work that day, but when she went home, she emotionally shut down. She didn’t want to work anymore, so she was shot with a sling shot to try to scare her to get her to work.
Jokia hangs out with her best friend Mae Perm. Mae Perm leads Jokia around the park and jungle. Jokia is one of the elephants that may be confiscated. I can’t bear to think how frightened Jokia would be leaving her home and her eyes, Mae Perm.
Help save Jokia and other animals from being confiscated from the ENP.
Please forward this recent YouTube link from Elephant Nature Park.
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Op Ed: Sue.Horton@latimes.com
Thailand Consulate, Chicago:
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Chicago, Illinois 60611