BANGKOK: Susan Field, a British citizen residing in Koh Samui, today presented a petition with almost 65,000 signatures to the Thai Government today asking them to provide urgent financial aid for elephants and their handlers who have received no income since tourists disappeared at the start of COVID-19.
“The future for elephants in Thailand looks extremely grim. In order to make a few baht, the mahouts may take their elephants back to begging in the streets or other cruel and degrading activities,” said Field, adding “Do these magnificent animals, your national symbol, deserve this? I don’t believe they do.”
If this tragic and desperate situation deteriorates further, and elephants begin to starve to death, Field believes this will have an extremely negative and adverse effect on Thailand’s tourism industry.
She had two specific requirements:
- Immediate and regular financial aid to help these elephants, their mahouts and families to have food and shelter – particularly in this critical time;
- To consider issuing a law to protect elephants – to keep them safe and protected.
Closing her presentation, Field said: “I respectfully ask you to use your influence – and your hearts – to demonstrate your reverence for the elephant, your national symbol. Please do not leave them starving and suffering.”