The Perfect World Foundation is working very close to the London based organisation, Elephant Family, that are doing a fantastic job to perserve the Asian Elephant, 90% of the Elephants are today extinct.


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Perfect World Foundation helps Elephant Family prevent the trade of live Asian elephants

A holiday encounter with a tame Asian elephant is an experience people remember forever, but there’s a tragic story that tourists are unaware of. Many of the elephants that tourists encounter were taken from the wild when they were babies and sold to tourist camps. The world’s wild Asian elephants are endangered with less than 45,000 surviving in fragmented pockets of forest across 13 countries.

Taking wild elephants from their forest homes is a brutal business. Twenty men break up the panicked herds to split out the young. As an elephant family tries to protect their calves as many as five adult elephants are killed during a capture. Once captured, baby elephants are tied up, starved and beaten to ‘tame’ them for a life in captivity. Over half die from stress. So, for every one baby elephant in a tourist camp up to seven elephants die.

As the international tourism industry continues to expand live trade poses an increasing threat to wild populations. The wild population cannot sustain the drain on their numbers.


In 1975 CITES1 put in place a mandatory ban on trade worldwide, however the illegal trade continued. Elephant Family commissioned its own undercover investigation. The result was worse than expected with reports of 81 wild elephants being traded Myanmar Thailand border over 18 months. This is a huge blow to Myanmar’s already fragile estimated population of 3,000 elephants. However these figures are based on just one investigation. We believe that this trade is not confined to Myanmar and Thailand, but is happening across Asia.

For three years from 2011 to 2014, with the support of the British government Elephant Family lobbied CITES to highlight the threat that the live trade of elephants poses to the wild population. A new commitment in 2014 resulted; calling for these countries to investigate and report back to CITES early in 2016.

The survival of Asian elephants cannot be left to chance or promises. Extinction is forever.

We need to discover information on trade routes, the capture ‘hotspots’, and the numbers of elephants illegally traded across borders.

With the help of the donation of $50,000 from The Perfect World Foundation, we can fund undercover investigations and ultimately interrupt the supply of baby elephants, while at the same time raising awareness locally that the practice is not only sustainable but also is illegal.

This information will then form the basis of a worldwide campaign to put increased pressure on governments so that we can help them strengthen their national judicial systems in the detection of activities and the importance of prosecutions up the supply chain.

We also need to work internationally to put in place a rigorous registration system that tracks the origin of all young elephants in captivity. Ultimately we need to create global awareness that life for an elephant without its wild family is not the best option that people can offer them in the 21st. century.


For further information please contact:
Monica Wrobel, Elephant Family Head of Conservation: And visit

Thank you Perfect World Foundation for your wonderful donation. We will keep you posted on the results of our live trade investigations.

Best wishes and many thanks from all the Elephant Family team



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