This woman came up with the perfect solution to keep tourist trade elephants fed as tourism collpases
COVID-19 pandemic has hit the tourism industry real hard globally. With no tourists to entertain, the elephants working in the tourist trade in Asia have become idle, and a source of concern for their owners. This is because feeding them requires money and since there is no tourism, their owners are tsruggling to keep them fed.
Thankfully, Carol Buckley and her organization Elephant Aid International (EAI) have created a win-win solution for tourist trade elephants and farmers in Nepal.
The group has been working in the Nepali province of Sauraha since the past few months, which is known as the gateway to Chitwan National Park. Since thousands of tourists visit the park each year, the region maintains a healthy tourist trade.
Ordinarily, privately-owned elephants are prohibited from entering the park—but after Buckley alerted the Nepali government to thire predicament, the ban was lifted so the elephants could graze during the day.
However, the elephants are still prohibited from being in the park at night—and since elephants normally spend about 20 hours a day eating, their owners were left with the challenge of finding enough food for them to eat at night.
Now because of the COVID-19 lockdown, local farmers have had no one to harvest the produce growing in their fields. Rather than being forced to let the food rot, Buckley and her team found farmers who were willing to sell their produce, arranged for workers to harvest the food, and then delivered it to the delighted elephants and their owners.
Now that the elephants are fed and the local farmers are generating income, Buckley plans on continuing the initiative for as long as necessary.