A team of 12 elephants will walk about 630 km across the Xayaboury and Luang Prabang provinces, passing through elephant populated areas and cultural sites and disseminating both environmental education material and art performances in towns and villages. In Luang Prabang 8 more elephants will join the caravan for a unique procession in the World Heritage city.
It is important that the elephant is seen in a positive light to support conservation work. Elephants are a source of pride for the Lao people and it is urgent to reactivate the public support for the species.
On the road, the caravan will stop daily in villages it crosses. Theater, music and performances will be offered to the public on the subject of the elephant, ambassador of biodiversity and cultural diversity. Because the elephant is both a species ‘keystone’ in ecosystems and revered emblem of a people, a nation Laos.
The aim of the caravan is to be a living, walking message. The elephants and their mahouts are making this journey to meet the people of Laos to say : ‘Don’t forget us. We are your natural and your cultural heritage, and we need your help.’
The caravan will give people the chance to get up close with the elephants and take part in performances and educational activities.
It will revive popular and government support for the elephants which have played such an important role in Laos culture, but now exist on the brink of extinction. This caravan will be a game changer for elephants in Laos.
We will highlight the urgent need to protect the habitat. If we save the elephant’s territory, we help all the other species too. And we can take elephants out of the cruelty and destruction of logging and into a better life.
If we save the domestic elephants we will secure a population that can potentially breed with wild elephants and increase their numbers in the future. For that we need the right people to take care of them – mahouts. This caravan will encourage young people to learn the skills of the older mahouts before their wisdom is gone forever. With their knowledge and wider action to protect the forest we can save the elephant in Laos and prevent the loss of one of the world’s great treasures.
We invite you to join the elephants on this journey towards hope and support us in safeguarding their future.
The Caravan in figures:
53 days walking
Average distance of 19km/day
46 villages crossed
12 elephants from Xayabury province
8 additional elephants joining in Luang Prabang city
A team of 66 people