About 15 elephant babies, along with 23 juveniles and adults, are at risk of being sold to the logging industry and to Chinese-owned circuses based in Thailand when the coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Non-profit organization Gentle Giants reported a decrease in Thailand’s tourism ever since the coronavirus, which saw working elephants be in a cruelty free environment and return to their villages in remote forestland.

Gentle Giants told The Independent that many of the animals might return to work on hard labor once covid measures are lifted. They added that the calfs might be sold to the circuses if there is not enough funds to keep them safe.

“Elephants die in the logging industry, it’s as simple as that. They’re tortured, given drugs to work longer hours, and they die. It’s essential that we work to keep these animals at home where they belong,” said Diana Munoz, founder and president of Gentle Giants.

The group is raising £23,000 to help this specific group of elephants, and so far, they have raised £5,000 which will buy two months worth of elephant carer wages, as well as food.

“There are 15 babies in danger of being ripped away from their mothers’ loving reach – to be sold to the circuses,” Ms Munoz told The Independent. “We are now fundraising to secure two months worth of elephant food and caretaker wages to be able to accept them into our sponsorship programme.”