Lang Xang – “The land of a million elephants”. This mystical status was given to the Kingdom of Laos by former monarchs and is still used today to describe the beauty of this untouched nation. For thousands of years elephants were once commonplace throughout most forested regions of Laos.
Sadly wild elephants in Laos are today struggling to survive. Scattered in small fragmented herds, population numbers of wild elephants are believed to be around 300-400. Like many other countries, wild elephants in Laos are threatened by problems caused by humans. This includes deforestation, poaching, expansion of human settlement and human-elephant conflict.
How you can help the wild elephants of Laos:
- Never purchase ivory or products made from animal bone, hide or hair. You never know its origin and this simply encourages poachers and the illegal trade in wildlife.
- Do you really need that wooden or bamboo souvenir? It could be made from illegally-harvested timber & directly destroying essential wild elephant habitat.
- Lead by example. During your stay help protect Lao’s natural environment. Plant a tree or visit a remote community. Get off the beaten path and spend a few nights in a town that doesn’t see many tourists. This will help locals make the transition from illegally-sourced income to sustainable tourism.