The national symbol of Thailand – the elephant – is in great danger. There are only about 1,500 elephants living in the wild and 3,000 left in Thailand, many of whom were not even born in Thailand but rather in neighbouring Myanmar (Burma). For a nation whose character and international recognition relies greatly on the elephant’s noble, magnificent spirit, the elephant has become perilously endangered.

In an effort to prevent the elephant from becoming extinct in Thailand, Surin became host to a pilot project that attempt to resettle homeless street elephants, an effort led by Lek Chailert at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai,Time Magazine’s “Hero of Asia.” Surin, a small town in Isaan near the Cambodian border, is home to some of the best mahouts or “elephant drivers” in Thailand and all of Asia, so it is only natural it became host to this project.

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