July 16, 2016

Let’s Save Lasah the Elephant

Let’s Save Lasah the Elephant

Asian Elephant routinely endure maltreatment and abuse at the hands of people who exploit them for financial gain. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Lasah, a 36-year-old Asian elephant, has never had it easy. Caught in the wild as a young animal, he would find himself forced to work in logging, where he endured backbreaking hardships. He would also find himself confined to small enclosures in a zoo, where visitors came to gawk at him. And he would also be compelled to perform in an animal show, where he was expected to entertain visitors.

But rather than enjoy some peace and leisure in well-earned retirement, the long-suffering elephant is now forced to carry tourists around on his back at the Langkawi Elephant Adventures amusement park on Langkawi island, where he has languished for the past decade.

“After years of abuse and exploitation, Lasah was sent to Langkawi in March 2006 and has since been forced to give rides for hours in sweltering heat and humidity while at the mercy of his handler,” explains the Malaysian animal rights group Friends of the Orangutans (FOTO), which has brought attention to the jumbo’s plight. “When not used for entertainment of tourists, Lasah is kept in brutal conditions behind public eyes, chained on all four legs,” FOTO explains. “This chaining method also breaks the Malaysian wildlife law.”

Lasah spends his night chained up in miserable conditions at Langkawi Elephant Adventures. Photo Credit: FOTO

Lasah spends his night chained up in miserable conditions at Langkawi Elephant Adventures. Photo Credit: FOTO

FOTO has launched a public campaign to rescue Lasah and retire him to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Pahang, where resident pachyderms receive adequate care. “Lasah has endured a lonely life of abuse and exploitation at the Langkawi Elephant Adventures and other places long enough,” FOTO stressed. “Please speak up for him today” – by signing an online petition here – “and help ensure that he spends the remainder of his days at the Kuala Gandah elephant sanctuary, where he will have the companionship of other elephants, space, and care that he deserves.”

Captive elephants in Malaysia have long been subject to regular maltreatment and routine abuse. In 2013, for instance, footage, secretly recorded by Foto, caught a handler sadistically beating a defenseless female elephant at the A’Famosa Resort, a golf and entertainment resort near Kuala Lumpur. “When not made to offer rides and perform in elephant shows,” the NGO explained, “the elephants are chained in a cruel manner, believed up to 15 hours a day, with no readily available drinking water and food.”

Yet Lasah’s plight has shocked even some animal rights advocates. “This is the worst form of elephant abuse we have had the misfortune to come across,” says FOTO’S director Upreshpal Singh. “Lasah is used and abused for tourist money and we were shocked to find him barbarically chained on all four legs when he isn’t being exploited. We’re inclined to think he’s chained in the same manner every night and it’s no surprise he is severely underweight.”

FOTO says it will continue its campaign to save Lasah from daily abuse until he is transferred to the elephant sanctuary in Pahang, where he can receive good care and enjoy the companionship of other elephants. “[T]his once wild gentle beast has suffered enough and we urge all caring Malaysians to join our campaign and speak up for poor Lasah,” Singh says.

A subsequent investigation by  the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) has found that Lasah was in good health and had been well treated, according to officials. “Thorough investigations and checks have been conducted in the Langkawi Elephant Adventures premises and investigations have found the elephant to be healthy,” the department said. Langkawi Elephant Adventures said Lasah was only used for three rides a day and received regular health check-ups.

17 Comments so far

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  1. Linus Malherbe

    Please save Lasah the elephant… Please

    1. Debra Nadaud

      How in God’s name is it possible for this atrocity to continue when it is against Malaysian law?!!!
      Have a HEART and get Lasah freed!!!

  2. Joachim Klimkeit

    it’s a shame how you treat you animals
    torturing and only based on greed
    Save you wild life & the tortured animals throughout your country

    J; Klimkeit

  3. Rawna Heichel

    Found to be healthy and shackled like a prisoner, truly disgusting that you have let this beautiful boy endure such a miserable life! People will stand against you to free him and they will be successful. There is much to be learned from animals, their kindness, compassion, forgiveness. If the world today stopped and took time to learn from these beautiful animals and learned to live with them the world would be a much better place!

  4. Kim Skerten

    Please stop this cruelty. It does nothing for your tourism trade as when this goes all over the Internet, noone will be able to ignore it.

  5. Marjorie Inglis

    Please unchain Lasah. Tourists need to stop paying for cruel attractions involving animals

  6. Elaine Watson

    Absolutely disgusting how this poor elephant has been treated. Lasah needs to be freed from these terrible chains and a life of misery. How can some people be so cruel to animals?

  7. Elizabeth

    Stop this cruelty.

  8. Joe Cuddy MBE

    A disgrace! Free him to a sanctuary

  9. Catherine Till

    There is too much suffering in this world…animals are innocent souls…free Lasah

  10. Denise Greenwood

    Please release this poor animal to a sanctuary – it is a disgrace to allow him to continue with this suffering.

  11. Denise

    I am trying to share Lasah’s plight with at least 10 people a day, I don’t know what else to do but I feel so sad every day thinking of his plight and all the other poor elephants/animals who continue to suffer at the hands of cruel and spiteful humans

    1. LaPlazza856Author

      Hi Denise,

      Thank you for helping spread the word about Lasah. We must all do our best to bring attention to the exploitation, neglect and abuse of animals like Lasah.

      At Clean Malaysia we will continue to highlight issues of cruelty to animals in Malaysia. Check back regularly for new articles and updates on current issues.

      Clean Malaysia Team

  12. Rosemary Underhay

    What a disgraceful way to treat an animal. It brings shame on Langkawi and all Malaysia. Free this elephant to the Kuala Gandah sanctuary.

  13. Please.please rescue this elephant as quickly as possible,this poor soul has suffered enough

  14. Brigitte Johnson

    Why are those monsters tormenting that sweet Elephant? The authorities should release the Elephant and chain up the terrible human scum. There is a special place in HELL for humans who hurt God’s animals.

  15. Haleema

    Please he has suffered enough release the poor thing from this awful unnatural way of life.

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