We receive hundreds of applicants a year here at Camp Thailand, many with a shared interest in the program: to embark on an elephant adventure and make a difference to the lives of Thai elephants during a visit to a local elephant sanctuary. During this time, participants bathe, feed and care for elephants who may otherwise have been exposed to cruelty. Did you know the following elephant facts about the much heralded animal?
- There are currently around 4,000 elephants in Thailand, a huge decrease from the 1850s, when 100,000 elephants roamed the country.
- Tragically, the numbers of Asian elephants have reduced; they are now classified as endangered according to the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN’s) Red List of Threatened Animals. Centuries of hunting and the destruction of their natural habitat caused this dramatic reduction in the elephant population.
- Many of the male elephants were hunted and poached for the ivory in their tusks. In 1989, Thailand joined the rest of the globe in instituting a ban on elephant ivory in an attempt to protect the animals.
- Although they’re some of the biggest animals on earth, elephants are actually herbivores.
- How complex is an elephant’s trunk? Each trunk has more than 40,000 muscles, more than all the muscles in a human body combined!
- Asian elephants are grey, a colour that acts as a natural defence by allowing them to blend into the shade of their natural habitats.
- Elephants are extremely social, and are healthiest and happiest when they have daily physical contact and communication with other elephants.
- Living solo or in captivity often leaves them lonely, confused, unhappy, and unhealthy. Elephants in the wild have a life expectancy of 30-50 years, and some live up to 60.
- Elephants have skin that’s up to 1 inch thick, but is still sensitive to the sun.
- Even though they’re such huge creatures, elephants are silent when they walk, due to their wide, padded feet.
Would you like to partake in a voluntary scheme whereby you could help wonderful elephants in a beautiful country? Here at Camp Thailand, we can help! Start your very own elephant adventure HERE! Snap your elephant selfie and share using #CampThailand across our social media channels! Tweet us @campthailand with more elephant facts!