Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time

Protesters at Malaysia Consulate in NYC Demand Freedom for Lasah the Elephant

October 16, 2017 by Leave a Comment

The News

Animal rights activists staged a protest the Consulate of Malaysia in NYC to demand that the government liberate Lasah, a 37 year old elephant being held captive on Langkawi, an island off the coast of Malaysia that is popular with tourists.

Poachers kidnapped Lasah from the jungle in Malaysia approximately 35 years ago, taking him away from his mother and his herd. In the decades since, Lasah has been exploited by the logging and entertainment industries.  Today, he gives elephant rides at Langkawi Elephant Adventures. He has no elephant companions; he has no access to water for bathing; and he has been photographed after hours being chained by his legs.

Lasah at Langkawi Elephant Adventures

For the past year, the NGO Friends of the Orangutans Malaysia has been campaigning to compel the Malaysian government to relocate Lasah to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, where he could spend his remaining years unshackled and in the company of other elephants.  Upon learning of Lasah’s plight, animal rights organizations around the world have stepped in to lend their voice.  Protests have been also been staged at the Consulate of Malaysia in London, in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia’s capital) and in Los Angeles, California.

Activists around the world demand that Malaysia liberate Lasah from his captors, Langkawi Elephant Adventures, and move him to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary.

“Lasah represents so many animals trapped in the tourist industry. If he’s released, that can pave the way for the others,” said Hannah Morris, a British photographer who has been ignored by the Malaysian government since she began campaigning to free Lasah since 2012.  In May, 2017, Ms. Morris spent the night in a tidal sea cave and documented her experience in a video called TRAPPED to raise awareness of the plight of Lasah.

On October 11th, the legendary French actress Brigette Bardot sent a letter to Malaysia’s Environment Minister asking that he relocate Lasah to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary. After being targeted with a Twitter campaign, removed the pages on its website promoting elephant rides with Lasah.

In order to give elephant rides, Lasah was “broken” by being beaten into submission by his captors (photo: Hannah Morris)

At the protest in New York City, activists confronted visitors entering and exiting the Malaysian Consulate, informing them about Lasah and asking them to join caring people around the world in boycotting Malaysia until the government gives its 37 year old prisoner a reprieve.

Activist protest on the steps of the Consulate of Malaysia until NYPD Counter Terrorism officials removed them

Your Turn

Follow the campaign to free Lasah on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Sign the Care2 petition asking the Prime Minister of Malaysia to move Lasah to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary.

Post a comment under any of the posts on the Tourism Malaysia Facebook page, which has over three million followers.  Use the photo below.

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. nblas says:

    The extent and proliference of animal neglect, abuse, and exploitation in this world is overwhelming. We must all do whatever we can no matter how little, to call attention to animals at risk, and demand their right to a healthy and dignified life in their natural environment. Man is a selfish predator, please respect and protect our fellow species. Sincere thanks to all the courageous animal warriors out there.

  2. Carol Cerney says:

    The abuse endured by Lasah sickens me. This poor creature with a soul has been robbed of the life elephants are meant to experience. I will boycott any institution and lobby against countries and businesses that promote this type of abuse. I will forward this email to as many people as possible.

  3. The ability for some people to exploit for monetary and selfish aims, astounds me. I force myself to remember there are good, moral and caring humans as well, who give their time, life and efforts to correct the inequities we perpetrate on other species. It really pains me deeply that such abuse exists. I am an animal advocate and activist. If I weren’t, I could not bear this pain I feel when confronted with the amount of immoral abuse being perpetrated.

  4. HelenLeBrecht says:

    Thank you for protesting this inhumane despicable behavior towards this wonderful elephant who deserves to be retired to a legitimate sanctuary to be free from oppression at last and to be with other elephants!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *