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Hosted by Debbie Dahmer
Guests will be: Diana Munoz -Founder and Colby Steiner & Lek Chailert - Co Founders of The Gentle Giants Stay Home Project
TOPIC: Why it all began for the Gentle Giants Stay Home Project? Give captive elephants a better way of life
As COVID-19 brought the tourist industry to a halt in Thailand many gentle giants and their mahouts were forced to walk back to their villages. At the trekking camps there was no more food or work for the mahouts and their elephants. It was heartbreaking to see and even harder to imagine that the gentle giants would probably be forced back to work in the illegal logging industry once they reached the villages. Facing such urgency, We were forced to put on our thinking caps; trying to come up with solutions on how to help not only the elephants from having to go back to a life of hard labor and long hours working in the tourist industry, but also their mahouts. Originally all these elephants were leased out to trekking camps so that tourist can ride on their backs, see them do circus tricks, paint etc. Life for them was sad and full of hardship. The mahouts didn't have it easy either. They worked long hours for very little pay. The new non profit Gentle Giants was born; partnering with Save Elephant Foundation (founder Lek Saengduean Chailert).
On May 3rd, 2020 after walking for 3 days a herd of 11 elephants reached their village. The Karen Tribe at Mea Chaem welcomed their elephants with open arms and so much love.