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Source: Viv Lanting

This Teenager Is Opening A Sanctuary In Thailand For Rescued Elephants

By Desirée Kaplan

Every year hundreds of tourists visit Asia to experience the local sights. Riding on elephants has become a popular tourist attraction, but it has also lead to serious concerns about the welfare of these animals. In a recent report conducted by the World Animal Protection, the organization found that out of the 2,923 elephants they saw in tourist venues throughout Asia, 77 percent of them endured cruelty. 

Jack Lanting, a 16-year-old from New Zealand, decided to do something about the poorly treated elephants in Asia. The teenager is raising money to open his own elephant sanctuary in Thailand. There he hopes to create an entirely hands-off elephant experience where the rescued animals can have a natural area where they can grow and flourish. 

Even though he is relatively young, Lanting has had extensive experience with elephants. He first found his passion for these majestic giants when he was only eight years old. While traveling with his mother, Lanting visited the Elephant Nature Park in Northern Thailand. There he met an injured elephant named Lily who had to carry tourists despite a broken leg. She was also addicted to drugs since it is common practice in some areas to drug elephants to make sure they behave in a docile manner with tourists.