S.O.S Thai Elephants
Photography by Patricio Estay - Text by Evelyne Simonnet
(Thailand, Myanmar)
Image ID: 009PE_NV_ - 58 photos
The elephant plays an important part in worship for Buddhists and yet it is nothing more than a working instrument or something used for man’s pleasure. Under the pretext of protecting this animal the Thai government has been financing special elephant festivals and has permitted the existent of tourist centres where elephants are trained and used, while at the same time it has closed an eye to the poaching that goes on in Myanmar. As well as being hunted for food, Asian elephants are hunted for their ivory (only from the males as the tusks of the female elephants are not developed or are absent), their hide which is used to make bags and shoes, or their bones which are an important ingredient in Chinese medicine. Only the young live elephants have any commercial value. They are taken to elephant training centres and used for the entertainment of tourists. In Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, it is illegal to kill or capture elephants, but in Myanmar (formerly Burma) they are not protected, and it is a crossroads for Asian trafficking. Poaching has become a threat to the survival of the wild elephant. And yet, the very people who claim to love and protect elephants, are purchasing them from the poachers They prefer to buy the calves rather than trying to breed them in captivity (an elephant calf is worth about 300.000 baths (6,000 euros). First of all reproduction is uncertain and slow (a female elephant will give birth to four or five calves in her lifetime) and secondly it is expensive. If Buddha were to be reincarnated on earth he would certainly not choose to be an elephant.  (More) ...
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  58 photos - page 1 of 7   |   next   |  go to page