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.
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.
“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, Hotels.com/Expedia removed the pages on its website promoting elephant rides with Lasah.
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.
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.