Trunk Driving in Thailand

by The Discovering Alcoholic on May 17, 2008

When I saw this story come up on my news feed I thought maybe it was a just a typo. After discovering that it was just a clever play on words I really didn’t expect to find any relevant content for a recovery related blog.

Wrong again.

When rain forest logging was banned in the 1990’s Thailand was instantly faced with a large population of out of work elephants, over 300 in Bangkok alone begging on the streets… and these are the lucky ones.

Some owners turn to illegal logging, which became far more dangerous. Forcing the beasts of burden to work faster, loggers prod them with spears and hooks, and feed them bananas spiked with amphetamines. Many logging elephants become drug-addicted, exhausted and ill. ~ Animal Planet

That’s right, drug addicted elephants.

Click “Read more” to continue…

I have spent a little bit of time in Thailand myself and thought that there seemed to be an unusually high ratio of elephants to tourists especially in Bangkok (A funny statement but true considering I once had to wade through a traffic jam caused by an elephant). I guess they had to do something with these out of work loggers so they employed them to entertain the tourist. The shows are quite entertaining, my wife who is from Thailand took me to see elephant polo and the re-enactment of ancient Thai battles fought from atop elephants.

There is still hope for those that don’t find work. Some are saved from the scavenging in the city and others are rescued from the illegal loggers by groups such as The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation. While I couldn’t find out what the method was for detoxing those elephants suffering from addictions, it is apparent from their website that the GTAEF provides excellent medical care and a great rehab environment. Click on the logo below to see more about this most excellent group.

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