The harsh reality is that 60% of Thailand’s elephants are still captive and 60% of those are used for tourism. Those in the wild face continued human conflict situations that can be life threatening for both human and elephant. This is a seriously complex issue with as yet no perfect solution. The Elephant Story looks to find such solutions by focusing its efforts where almost half of Thailand’s captive elephants are registered, Ban Ta Klang. The people who live in this village have raised and maintained elephants and held the destiny of Thailand’s elephants for over 3,500 years. GTAEF is helping in many ways to influence their future destiny positively through more preferable target training, community outreach programs, protection of wildlife corridors and provision of rangers so elephants can access other food sources without leaving the forest to enter villages.
The Elephant Story has also underwritten a drone program in the Karen State, Myanmar and Thailand Western Forest Complex. Their financial support goes towards managing communications, training and logistics for the Karen Forest Department Wildlife Protection Units (WPU). The rangers manage eight protected areas and wildlife sanctuaries under Karen control which connect directly to Thailand's World Heritage Western Forest Complex. The area encompasses over 18,000 square kilometers representing one of the largest protected territories in Southeast Asia. It includes 19 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries including two World Heritage sites and 34 biodiversity hotspots. It supports diverse large mammal fauna including elephants, Indochinese tigers, Asian leopards, sun bears, ten species of primates, gaur, banteng, water buffalo, tapirs and all four of Thailand's five deer species.