Since 2006, The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF) has been striving to improve the lives of Thailand’s elephants. The GTAEF’s work has expanded to focus on both the elephants and the wider communities who care for captive elephants or who share land and resources with wild elephants.
To date the GTAEF has rescued over 60 ex-street elephants. Currently 22 elephants live at the camp with their mahout families and are provided round the clock food, veterinary care and space to roam, whilst their owners are offered opportunities for education and work, so that neither the elephants nor the communities will be exploited.
The foundation is constantly evolving and expanding to meet the changing needs of elephants in South East Asia. The GTAEF now proudly sponsors the first 24/7 vet presence for a generation in Ban Ta Klang, Surin, a group of villages home to over 400 unemployed elephants and where almost half of Thailand’s working elephants are registered. Funds here also provide full time English Teachers, annual Conservation Education camps for the children of mahouts and, for the past two years, Target Training Positive Reinforcement Workshops for elephant handlers.
The GTAEF regularly hosts or sends South East Asian vets and scientists to international meetings where they rub shoulders and compare notes with globally recognised experts. In addition, the foundation directly funds and facilitates elephant behaviour and intelligence research, which in turn leads to better care and treatment of captive elephants and better protection of wild ones.
In Thailand and throughout South East Asia the GTAEF protects wild elephants: notably sponsoring the Surviving Together programme operating in a group of villages on the edge of Khao Yai National Park. Community teams are trained to keep an eye on wild roaming elephants as they leave the park to raid neighbouring villages’ crops, training all involved to manage the situation safely for both elephants and farmers. In 2018 a brand new watch tower was built to improve safety and to reduce the risk of human elephant conflict.
Further afield, since 2014, the foundation has been fully funding the protection of an 18,000ha elephant corridor in the Cambodian Cardamom Mountains as well as contributing to the funding of full time ranger teams that work to ensure the safety of both elephants and farmers around the Randilen Wildlife Management Area in Tanzania.
For more information please visit helpingelephants.org