Fields of produce that would otherwise go to waste are harvested, bagged and delivered to hungry elephants. Did you know that $5 can buy a 50-pound bag of fresh produce in Nepal? Every penny donated to our Feed Hungry Elephants Campaign will go toward feeding elephants and supporting local farmers and laborers.
Privately owned elephants in Sauraha, Nepal, and their mahouts have been hard hit as COVID-19 put a stop to tourism throughout Asia.
Many mahouts left their jobs to return to their home villages to be with family during the lockdown.
The mahouts who stayed to care for their elephants and the elephants themselves are left in a precarious situation.
Elephant Aid International is working with its Nepali team to support out-of-work elephants and their mahouts.
More videos on our efforts to help Nepal elephants can be found here.
It started when EAI alerted the Nepali government that the privately owned elephants who normally give rides had no work and thus no income. We were delighted when the government then made an exception to the law that bars privately owned elephants from grazing the grasslands inside Chitwan National Park. The government’s compassionate decision allows the elephants to graze, exercise and access the Rapti River to bathe and drink.
For safety reasons, however, the elephants cannot remain in the Park after dark, which limits their grazing time. Elephants normally spend 20 hours every day eating, consuming 150 pounds of food daily. According to well documented science a balanced and nutritious diet for captive-held elephants consists of grass, browse, produce and grain.
This means that as long as the lockdown keeps tourists away the elephants might be allowed to graze fresh grass but will need supplemental food when they return to their stables.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, the government revoked grazing permission after learning that some mahouts failed to adhere to the Park’s strict regulations which are designed to protect the resident wildlife. The elephants are now back on chains in their shelters for the majority of each day and night, with their basic needs for a balanced diet, exercise, socialization and grazing not being met.
EAI has developed an innovative solution that benefits the elephants and the local farmers, who are losing income because they have a reduced or nonexistent market for the produce in their fields.
We are working with Shanti and Raj Chaudhary, lifetime residents of Sauraha and longtime EAI friends, to get the produce that would otherwise rot in the fields to the elephants. The Chaudharys find farmers, inspect the unpicked produce and arrange for it to be harvested, bagged and delivered to the elephants.
We realize this is a short term solution to a long term problem but we are determined to make sure the elephants are fed and fields of produce do not go to waste.
We invite you to join in this win-win-win effort.
Every penny you donate will go to helping elephants in Sauraha and supporting farmers who otherwise could not sell their produce. Every donation, regardless of size, helps!