PURPOSE & ACTIVITIES
of Great Asian International Elephant Race (December 2008):
The long-term objectives are presented below.
- To meet the purpose of Saving Asian Elephants in Nepal, the prime objective will be to increase the population of elephants with good health and proper training for carrying tourists, provide rescue and difficult transport services in the deep jungle. (Elephants had played great role in saving one horned Rhinos, Royal Bengal Tigers and Gharial Crocodiles especially in Chitwan National Park.)
- To help promote Elephant Based Safari and cultural tourism in Chitwan.
- To provide insurance coverage to Elephant drivers, helpers and provide welfare services.
- To oversee that cruelty is totally banned.
- To make the animal lovers, ecologists and general public (all over the world) aware of this serious problem. (In 1911 AD when George V, had stayed in Royal Chitwan National Park for 11 days for his famous hunting expedition, more than 300 elephants were summoned in Chitwan and it is estimated by knowledgeable persons that there were more than 2000 elephants in Nepal at that time. Now the experts estimate this number to be around 200, out of which some 80 elephants are in Sauraha and some 48 elephants are operated inside the national park by private jungle lodges. Therefore, in 2006 August, there were 128 elephants in and around Royal Chitwan National Park. Thus The Regional Hotel Association Nepal, Chitwan estimates that some 64% of the elephant population was in Chitwan in 2006 A.D. )
- To conduct research on ecology, working, food, sex habits, problem of infertility, food and water supply, and to conduct lab tests for the control of diseases and genetic/biological problems, etc. (It is also important to grow best suitable food materials in the breeding centre and around stables and reduce the pressure on national parks and community forests.)
- To make them aware and advise the authorities of the National Parks about the best use of elephant in the national parks. (e.g. unlike in Africa, Safari Tourism Industry can be discouraged to use noisy and polluting vehicles and trained elephants and Mahuts should be used with better results.)
- Elephant Breeding Centre can be organized and run more efficiently and properly as a cooperative, organized with direct participation of hoteliers, travel and trekking agents and women entrepreneurs connected with tourist industry of Sauraha, etc.
- To do any other related work to fulfill the prime objectives and sub-objectives manifested and presented above.
- (After regular plan and performance evaluation and study or feedback information, other strategic plans of actions will be developed at regular basis.)
As the great Asian Elephant, the most intelligent, friendly, beneficial and biggest mammal on earth is practically at the verge of extinction, we the people of Saurha at the main gateway of Chitwan National Park, want to draw the kind attention of the conscious animal lovers and ecologically conscious intellectuals of the world, about this unhappy situation. As some 10,000 people of this area are directly dependent on tourism industry and as the elephants are the backbone of this industry, it is also necessary for us to save elephants.
World's First Elephant Race:
With the purpose stated above, an International Elephant Race was organized in the Tourist Village of Sauraha in December 26 and 27 of 2005. This race was organized for Charity purpose. Twenty-nine elephants had taken part under the banners of national and international teams and some 15,000 domestic and international tourists have participated and were delighted. This event was given coverage by BBC, Chinese and Indian TV channels and was given proper publicity by the entire national newspapers and T.V. channels of Nepal. This was only a small and humble beginning, but it has greatly encourages us to organize this event with better management and larger participation. We can safely target to get 30,000 tourists participation in this event in December 2006, which may last for 4-5 days