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The local administrative organization of Surin Province says its campaign to help beggar elephants has become a success, securing jobs for more than 70 elephants and mahouts.
The Chief of Surin Provincial Administrative Organization and Director of the Elephant Study Center, Kraisak Woratat, says the project was launched in 2006 in order to improve the quality of life of elephants, many of which were forced to beg for money and food in big cities. The project was designed to rebuild the image of sections of the tourism industry tainted by the neglect of elephants.
An elephant study center was set up in Tha Tum district to collect roaming elephants and their mahouts from different provinces. All the mahouts now receive salaries while the jumbos are trained to join in cultural and entertainment activities. The project has saved 73 elephants from street begging.
A budget of 23 million baht has been spent on the project. The chief of the Elephant Study Center said the center would continue to save pachyderms from neglect and abuse.