Is Thai Elephant Population In the Clear?

There is a significant improvement in the Thai elephant population. Many experts and scientists agree that the population has increased over the past 15 years as a result of reforming laws, and cooperation from public and private organizations. Yet, that does not mean that the elephants are no longer facing any trouble. There are many issues left for us to solve. Find out more in this article about the Thai elephant population’s threat. 

Thailand Elephant Population
Elephant Thailand, Chiang Mai elephant sanctuary, Bathing with elephants, Elephant nature park, Elephant sanctuary Pattaya

First of all, let us take a look at how the Thai elephant population increases. Many actions were taken to stop the extinction of the elephants on both local and national scales. Here is the list of some of those efforts. 

  1. The Thai government passed many laws that stop the elephants from being exploited. In the past, there were issues of hunting elephants and smuggling their babies to use for entertainment purposes. For example, Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act 2019 classifies wild elephants as “Protected wildlife”. It prohibits hunting, owning, breeding, and selling elephants as well as their ivory and corpse. Other laws that contribute to the increased population and outlaw elephant commercialization include the 1989 logging ban, the 1939 Transport Animal Act, the 2015 Ivory Act, the upcoming Elephant Act, and many more.  
  2. Thai people are more aware of the elephants’ abuse and environmental problems. 
  3. The tourism industry becomes more animal and environmentally friendly. People set up their own preservation organizations that effectively reform certain lifestyles that used to harm animals. 

The list above is just an example of more than decade-long attempts to restore the elephant population. They result in a 7% increase in the number of elephants nationwide, according to Thai PBS News. They are indeed impressive, however, insufficient to protect the elephants. 


The expanded population faces the scarce habitat zone and the sources of food problem because the forest area does not grow as fast as the population. And not every forest is habitable for the Thai elephants. When the elephants cannot access food and water sources, it pushes them to go into the villages where people live and do agriculture. This increases tension between villagers and the elephant. Some of them even use violence to end what they think is a harmful invasion. And poaching is still a problem that no matter how much Thai authority tries to end, it still happens now and then. 


Also, the possibility of the elephant population falling back to the risk of becoming extinct is imaginable. It is a long way to go for them to guarantee the continuity of their future generation. With the existing problem of lacking a place to live and getting shot for trying to survive, the elephant population is not in the clear. 

The Care Project has witnessed many beautiful agricultural areas surrounding our vicinities. We aim to spread the practice that can contribute to more forest and food sources for the elephants. We make sure to create safe zones for our elephants as well so that they do not have to encounter the threats caused by nature and humans. Also, our mission is to educate people on how to deal with wild elephants without using violent tools or methods. 


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