Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Tuesday, July 20, 1999 Published at 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK


UK

RSPCA pledges aid for Thai elephants

This elephant was injured while logging

The RSPCA is to spend £60,000 caring for hundreds of elephants in Thailand, whose lives are at risk because their owners can no longer afford to look after them.

The scheme, which is being launched on Tuesday, is a joint project between the animal charity and the Thai government.


The BBC's Bob Sinkinson: Elephants and their owners have been forced onto the streets to beg
Elephants in Thailand were once a national symbol of the country. Today, it is not uncommon to see them wandering the streets of towns and cities with their owners begging for food from tourists.

Thai vets have expressed concern that unless the elephants are properly looked after, they will become extinct in the country within the next 20 years.

Most of the country's 6,000 elephants used to work tugging logs in the forests on the Burmese border. But logging was declared illegal because of environmental concerns, and many were taken to the cities.

Some spend their days wandering the back streets, where people pay their owners to pass beneath the elephant's belly, a ritual which is seen as good luck.

Mobile clinic

Many people are worried that the elephants have outlived their usefulness and are now falling sick because their owners can no longer afford to look after them. Many are suffering from malnutrition.

To tackle this problem, the RSPCA has dispatched a mobile clinic to tour Thailand to dispense first aid to the elephants. Two have already received treatment, one of which was suffering from problems related to a poor diet.

The charity hopes to provide care for more than a thousands elephants over the next two years.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England

Relevant Stories

30 Dec 98 | Asia-Pacific
Thailand's elephants sick and abandoned





Internet Links


RSPCA

Thai Elephant Conservation


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online