Here at Camp Thailand we are big believers in ecotourism. One of the biggest draws to our program here at Camp Thailand is the opportunity to work alongside Thailand’s majestic elephants at an elephant conservation project; we love sharing photos and videos that our Campers take while they’re out here, but we feel like you’re not hearing the whole story.
In Thailand, elephants are considered to be domesticated animals and they are often used for labour or to make money in tourist riding Camps. These incredible creatures that we work with all came from somewhere; they all have a story to be told and so do the people that work tirelessly all year round to rescue and rehabilitate them: this is their story.
We’ve all seen photos of our friends travelling, smiles from ear to ear, sat on the back of an elephant riding through the jungle, even clips of adorable baby elephants doing tricks in front of a large crowd. While these things might look innocent on the surface, there’s a dark side to this type of treatment.
Almost all elephants in Thailand will have experienced some form of work within the tourist or logging trades, something which can be a pretty horrific experience for these gentle giants. Before any elephant is set to work it goes through a process known as ‘phajaan’ or ‘the crush’. This means to break a baby elephant from its spirit and it’s the traditional torture of young elephants, used to force their will to submit to humans – this process is very brutal. The elephants are confined, tied down, beaten, starved, poked and tortured until its spirit breaks.
Here at Camp Thailand we are dedicated to helping these incredible animals and re-educating unsuspecting tourists about elephant welfare. This is why we work with arguably the best elephant conservation projects in Thailand.
As you can see, we really value the wellbeing and life quality of the elephants that we work without here at Camp Thailand. Our aim is to spread awareness about ‘the truth behind the smile’. We hope to educate you on these issues, so you can go home and spread the word so we can inspire change.
Together, we can make a difference.
Click to watch in the video below!
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