The future of the Asian elephant looks bleak. Fewer than 1000 animals, wild and domesticated, are currently still in the country that was once called "the land of a million elephants". Slowly, a change in mindset is also taking place in Laos, but there is still a long way to go to save them, as you can see at the Elephant Conservation Center.
Laos is one of the last natural habitats for the Asian elephant. Currently, there are still an estimated less than 1000 animals living here, about half of which are wild in the jungle and half domesticated. However, as in all other Asian countries, the animals are threatened by the spread of civilization and agriculture and therefore by the loss of their habitat (rainforest). At the beginning of the millennium the number was still given as 2000 animals in total.
The domesticated elephants in Laos are traditionally employed mainly in the timber industry - a dangerous, strenuous job. The fact that this very use as so-called logging elephants is now also declining more and more in Laos is on the one hand pleasing in the elephants' interests. On the other hand, however, it is not. When elephants stop working, their owners lose their livelihood and are forced to find new ways of employing their elephants and earning an income. Tourism offers many opportunities here, but it can sometimes be more damaging to the health of the elephants than using them as working elephants in the timber industry.
The Elephant Conservation Center & Hospital (founded by Elefantasia in 2011) aims to protect the Asian elephant.
Our long-standing enthusiasm for the Asian elephant has taken on a completely new dimension in recent years with our encounters with the pachyderms at the Elephant Conservation Center in Sayaboury. As a partner, we support the Elephant Conservation Center in its efforts to protect and preserve these wonderful creatures as well as concretely through the financial support of the Elephant Hospital and other projects.
In addition to this pragmatic support, we would also like to raise awareness for the dignified keeping of domesticated elephants. The fact that the work of the ECC has already led to a change in the mindset of Laotians is also shown by our story of the 13 elephants that were handed over to the centre for "care" in 2018.
In Laos, einem der letzten Lebensräume des vom Aussterben bedrohten Asiatischen Elefanten, hat sich neulich wahrlich Historisches abgespielt. In den Hauptrollen: 13 Dickhäuter, eine überraschend agile und umsichtige Regierung und das Elephant Conservation Center im Dschungel von Sayaboury.