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Elephant Aid International Breaks Tradition in Nepal; It’s Time to Celebrate! Carol Buckley, Founder, Elephant Aid International
On June 12 of this year Elephant Aid International (EAI), A US based non-profit organization, in collaboration with Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, broke all the rules. Together we defied centuries of tradition by making captivity a better place for 31 hardworking, anti-poaching patrol elephants.
Our creation of 31 solar-powered, one-acre chain-free corrals, located throughout 13 different government hattisars in Chitwan National Park, represents a new elephant welfare standard in Asia.
The result of our effort means half of all the government owned elephants in Chitwan National Park are now chain-free…forever!
This unprecedented project demonstrates that change is possible in a brief but very busy period of time. In four short months, Chief Conservation Officer Kamal Jung Kunwar, technicians at IBEX Gallagher and EAI have literally changed a longstanding tradition of pain and suffering for the working elephants of Chitwan National Park.
India has joined the ranks of compassionate care for elephants.
Just a few days ago the first chain free enclosure of its kind was completed at Bannerghatta Biological Park. Enclosing 122-acres of natural habitat including forest, grasslands and a large pond, 15 of India’s captive-held elephants are now chain free. Recently rescued Sunder prompted the improvements. His rescue brought much needed media attention to the plight of captive held elephants used for rides and temple worship.
As the year closes elephants will be chain free in Thailand!
The word has gotten out about our Chain Free Means Pain Free project. One time street beggars and elephants used for illegal logging and tourist rides in Thailand will experience what it means to be released from the heavy chains that bound them for decades. Before the end of the year 17 sick and rescued elephants living at Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital in Lampang and Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary in Sukhothai will experience the freedom of being chain free.
Keeping the momentum going strong
Phase two of our Chain Free Means Pain Free project begins January 2015. The dawn of the New Year will find us in Nepal creating chain free corrals for another 47 elephants; 31 government owned and 16 privately owned. With continued support, we plan to free more captive elephants from chains until we reach our goal to make Nepal the first Chain Free country in the world!
Spread the word far and wide…the elephants are counting on us!
© Carol Buckley