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The beginning

Monday 18 April 2011, by ElefantAsia

To help save the Asian elephant, ElefantAsia’s team had to do something dramatic. Our 1,300km Elephant Caravan drew public attention to the vanishing emblematic animal of Lao, a country once known as "the land of a million elephants".

Our objective was to raise awareness in the elephant’s home countries as well as the rest of the world using the media plus a book and a movie. Our publications inspired us to organise a caravan trek in Laos, where the Pachyderm still arouses a popular fervour. ElefantAsia’s Elephant Caravan helped local people rediscover this iconic animal that played a big role in human history for more than 4,000 years.

Our caravan of four elephants travelled 1,300 km from January to April 2002 at a peaceful yet determined pace. We crossed and stopped in dozens of villages, even cities like Vientiane and Luang Prabang. This led to a true resurgence of old elephant traditions among the people regardless of their age or ethnical origin.

This first expedition across Laos has had a real impact on the local population. The event has been widely publicised by all the national media and it attracted visitors all along the way, in villages as well as in cities. The Elephant Caravan has become a national event with a strong symbolic meaning.

Beyond the effect of the caravan throughout Lao, ElefantAsia has undertaken the edition and distribution of pedagogical booklets and posters. We also displayed an educational show for children in schools about the extinction of Asian Elephants and other environmental issues.

National and provincial authorities have been very enthusiastic about the entire project. Our campaigns have made them directly aware of the risks of extinction of the symbolic animal of the country.


- Support ElefantAsia by buying the book or the movie The Elephant Caravan
- Check out photos from the Elephant Caravan
- Watch an extract from the Elephant Caravan movie
- Listen to sounds from the caravan



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