The COVID19 breakout put people into lockdown for weeks and months. That meant no going out and no visits to public places. On the other side of this matter, this meant the shutting down of places that depended on visitors for their income too. Animal sanctuaries, aquariums, museums and the like which depended on visitors stopped receiving income and in some places, this has resulted in complete shut down of the place.
Maintaining animals, specially the elephants amongst them all, requires a lot of money in terms of food, caretakers, medicine, vet charges, among many others. With visitors not allowed during the past few months, many elephant parks in Thailand could no longer afford the expenses, So, Thailand has sent back more than 100 elephants as of now due to the lack of funds. Elephants have been sent from Chiang Mai to Mae Chaem where the ethnic minority Karen keep elephants as their tradition.
Since the main livelihood of many depends on the businesses related to elephants, having to put an end to it is not an easy task, However, one of the owners who sent four elephants back to their natural habitat in Ban Huay Bong is Sadudee Serichevee. He is encouraging other owners too to send their elephants back.
There are organizations that help make this cause a success. One such organization is The Save Elephant Foundation located in the northern province of Chiang Mai. They have also been active in supporting the elephants at tourist parks with food.