Samui Elephant Haven was on the receiving end of some incredible kindness last weekend. With COVID-19 affecting tourism across the globe and over a thousand elephants facing starvation in Thailand, a small group of elephant lovers made a positive change for the largest ethical sanctuary on Koh Samui.
Contacts from little black books were shared; Ekaphol Pongstabhon, Managing Director of Tipco Foods PCL, was called and the plight of elephants on Thailand’s second-largest island explained. With immediate attention, his factory in Prachuap Khiri Khan province was spurred into action to collect the waste from the pineapples that are used to make fruit juice. Over 100 tonnes of pineapple tops and trees were promised over three weeks and more to come in the future.
Local residents came together to welcome the first truckload off the ferry at the Raja Ferry port with intrigued monks and police standing-by to ensure social distancing was practised and obligatory masks were worn. Volunteers from across the island offered their pick-up trucks and manpower and large trucks and teams of workers were provided by Samui PongPetch.
Dr Techarat Kensakhou Hill was an integral part of the team offering communication in Thai and being the lynchpin in negotiations and logistics throughout. Channel Three, the nations favourite channel, was present to document this heartwarming story.
The pandemic has brought together incredible people who want to make a change for a ‘new future’. Life will never be the same again, and it is during these times that the future can be reinvented. It is time to change business models for tourism, products, campaigns or policies relevant to multiple areas including society and culture, supply chains and manufacturing, animals and humans. To maximise this opportunity, there is a need to unite as a community and engage with everyone. Samui Elephant Haven strives to bring together an incredibly diverse range of people and create a new normal.