Please help Lek save her Elephants!
  • Petitioning Deputy Director (Sanran Rakchart)

This petition will be delivered to:

Department of National Parks
Deputy Director (Sanran Rakchart)
Department of National Parks
Deputy Director
Department of National Parks (DNP)
Director General

Please help Lek save her Elephants!

    1. Sara Eisner
    2. Petition by

      Sara Eisner

      Adelaide, Australia

"We will do whatever possible to protect our elephants. Today I prepare to go to jail but the fight for my animals and justice will never stop." - Lek

Please help me to create change! We really can make a difference if we work together.

Sangduen 'Lek' Chailert is the Founder of the Elephant Nature Park (ENP) in Chiang Mai; she rescues elephants from exploitation and has spent her life looking after these gorgeous and wonderful creatures.

I started this petition because Lek truly is an inspiration. She works tirelessly to create change in Thailand. All her life she has devoted her time, energy and money to looking after sick, injured, lame and disabled elephants. She has been involved in re-educating locals and foreigners about elephant treatment, she is trying to put a stop to elephant trafficking within Thailand and she rescues/gives medical assistance to abused and exploited elephants as well as providing a safe haven in Chiang Mai for these elephants.

The DNP (Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation) has warned Lek that they could take 8 elephants from the ENP if the original registration papers are not obtained (she only has a copy) AND possibly some of her land. One of the elephants, Jokia, is blind and if she is confiscated, she will be moved to a government facility, where Lek fears she could die. Elephants are social animals and moving her could be quite distressful. Jokia has already experienced enough pain and suffering at the hands of others and the ENP has been a safe haven for her since then.

The ENP has been raided 3 times by the DNP because someone sent a complaint to the DNP stating that Lek had wild elephants at the Park. These claims have been unfounded but the DNP may still take some of the elephants unless Lek gets the original papers from the original owners: 

"There are 16 elephant camps in the area that have 78 elephants with no registration papers and no action has been taken against them by the DNP. Founder Sangduen 'Lek' Chailert questions the DNP's motivation behind the repeated targeting of her sanctuary which cares for old, sick and disabled elephants that have been rescued from the logging and trekking industries." (taken from http://elephantnaturepark.org/)

So far there has been no media coverage of the unjust treatment Lek and her elephants have encountered and I am worried that if there is none, this already endangered species will continue to fall victim to the tourism industry.

Within Thailand baby elephants are sold for US$32,000 to work in the tourist trade where they are “trained” into ‘learning tricks’ and providing rides for tourists (if they are taken from the wild, their mothers are often murdered). These elephants are put into a "crush" where their "spirit" is broken; many locals believe that this is the only way to control and manage an elephant. Lek has had to witness this procedure many times and has only been allowed to offer medical assistance to these elephants. The treatment is so brutal that some elephants die during the procedure:

http://youtu.be/SVckvi_gWVo Please click here if you want to see what a baby elephant must endure to be “trained” for tourist attractions. WARNING: this video is not for the faint hearted; some images may offend, shock or upset the viewer.

Through her park, Lek has demonstrated that an elephant does not need to be brutalised, harmed, hurt or injured to be controlled or managed by humans (she promotes the "click-reward" technique). She has proven that elephants and humans can work harmoniously alongside one another without resorting to brutality. However, change takes time and she is patiently working with locals and the community to change the cruel and unjust attitudes/practices exhibited by some people.

I started this petition therefore to stop the repeated attacks by the DNP, to promote Lek's amazing work, to educate others about the plight of the Asian Elephant and what the tourism industry (in some areas) really does to these beautiful creatures and to keep these elephants safe.

Lek is an amazing woman and I hope she is not put into jail simply for fighting for elephant rights. She is not a criminal and should not be treated like one!

Please help me to spread the word about what the DNP is doing to the ENP so we can put a stop to these attacks and continue to keep Lek's vision alive, "To protect and conserve elephants in a natural environment and to provide a healthy and fruitful life for all those under our care".

We really can make a difference if we work together.  For more information about the raids, please watch the following video:

http://elephantnaturepark.org/news/elephant_raid__video2.htm

And read the following article:

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinion/Furore-intensifies-over-elephant-trade-in-Thailand-30177691.html

 

You can tell the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, DC that you disapprove by filling in this form (it will only take two minutes of your time):

https://secure2.convio.net/ida/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2107

For more information about the park, to donate, volunteer or visit please go to:

http://www.saveelephant.org/

http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/

OR

http://www.elephantnaturefoundation.org/

Thank you so much for all your support!

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 8,000 signatures
    2. Director General Charged!

      Sara Eisner
      Petition Organizer

      "Damrong Pidhet, Director General of DNP charged with negligence by Royal Thai Police"- this was an update from Edwin (WFFT) today!

      Please click on the link below to read the full article (a rough translation from Thai to English)

    3. Another message from Lek

      Sara Eisner
      Petition Organizer

      Dear Friends and supporters,

      On the 12th of March our lawyers presented all of our elephant documents to the DNP official, and since that day we still have not heard anything from them - daily we hold onto our concern of what will happen next.

      Initially, the DNP officials came to us expecting to find a camp with over 70 illegal elephants and a breeding facility which trafficked to China. Of course, they found only 35 elephants, mostly old or injured in some way. Yet even then, on the second and third raids, they still wanted to confiscate our handicapped elephants, and threatened to check our property and disturb our animals living here.

      Since that day, the living at the Park has not been peaceful; daily we have strangers come to take pictures of our staff, workers and mahouts. A growing number of our staff are deciding to leave because they work in fear. On the third raid, one of the officials said to us, which can be verified by the VDO...

      Please click below to read on:

    4. Reached 5,000 signatures
    5. Update from Lek!

      Sara Eisner
      Petition Organizer

      On February 27th, we received a warning by local officials that the DNP were coming to confiscate our elephants and that the DNP were also looking to make other trouble. I doubted this, but later we found out it was true.

      This time the officials told us that the order from the director of DNP was to check about the paperwork regarding the ownership of the Park land itself.

      I would like to confirm to all of you that these are in order and please do not worry about this case. All of our land is registered by the government, and we pay tax every year. We have our lawyer team working on this already.

      The biggest thing that we worry about now is: what will happen next?

      Note: Every time we are raided, we have very obvious questions that their official kept asking our staff - "Did Lek do something to make someone hate her?" Or else, "Do you know why we are here? You must make someone hate you."

      We await the next raid and wonder what will be demanded next.

    6. Reached 3,000 signatures
    7. Thank you to everyone who has signed, commented and shared.

      Sara Eisner
      Petition Organizer

      This petition has reached parts of the globe that I never thought possible - 1000 signatures in just over 24 hours is an amazing achievement - together we can bring about change so keep up the fantastic work! Here is a message from Lek:

      "Hi, it’s Lek. Thank you all so much. You have been an inspiration and your support has kept us strong. These are difficult days for us and it is vital to know that we are not alone.

      Our main goal is to spread news in support of the rights of animals. The focus should be on protecting and helping our struggling wildlife and to educate Thai people to learn more of how to share space with other species. We believe in the power of education to boost respect for our planet.

      The link that follows has a number of email addresses that you can write to.
      If you have been to our park please let the person you are writing know of our park, how the animal residents are treated and what you thought of the raids."

    8. Reached 1,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Rhana Wyble GROVES, TX
      • about 1 month ago

      Because I love animals. Elephants are so special and should be left alone with their prides.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Donna Croce PORT HADLOCK, UNITED STATES MINOR OUTLYING ISLANDS
      • 4 months ago

      c

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • john pasqua VALLEY CENTER, CA
      • 4 months ago

      GREAT CAUSE FOR THE ELEPHANTS.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
      • 4 months ago

      Elephants are more important than any brain fried criminal who dares to hurt them and kill them.Elephants are noble creatures who watch over the wildlife like an ancient spirit!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Bonnie Lewenza WINDSOR, CANADA
      • 4 months ago

      Lek truly is an inspiration. She works tirelessly to create change in Thailand. All her life she has devoted her time, energy and money to looking after sick, injured, lame and disabled elephants. She has been involved in re-educating locals and foreigners about elephant treatment, she is trying to put a stop to elephant trafficking within Thailand and she rescues/gives medical assistance to abused and exploited elephants as well as providing a safe haven in Chiang Mai for these elephants.

      She has proven that elephants and humans can work harmoniously alongside one another without resorting to brutality. However, change takes time and she is patiently working with locals and the community to change the cruel and unjust attitudes/practices exhibited by some people. She don't deserve to go to jail for protecting the elephants, she is a saint not a criminal.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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