VIDEO: Generous elephant presents Thai ambassador with check at Jerusalem zoo

Published November 8th, 2015 - 10:01 GMT

The Thai ambassador in Israel had received on Thursday a $1,500 donation from the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo for an elephant hospital in Lampang, zoo authorities said.

The ambassador, Angsana Sihapitak, received the check from an Asian elephant named Tamar, who held the giant paper in her trunk.

"I will forward it to the Elephant hospital to Lampan and according to the objective of this donation," Sihapitak said.

A national symbol of Thailand, elephants are praised as a sacred animal among Thais.

They're often subjected to hard labor and have long been hunted for their ivory and exploited for tourism.

The zoo said the money has been collected in small amounts from zoo visitors over the past three years.

"The Thai elephants arrived to Israel only because it was a special request of the late prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, to his colleague to bring elephants to Jerusalem Zoo, but with a full commitment from our side, from the Israeli, to do whatever we can do to promote wildlife conservation in zoos to promote, not only wildlife conservation, the Asian elephant needs for conservation and breeding," said the zoo CEO, Shay Doron.

"The most important thing about this contribution it's not only the amount of money, the fact that it's gifts from the children of Jerusalem and the children of Israel. We collected shekel to shekel, dollar to dollar, no one came with big money," he added.

Tamar, which is a Hebrew origin name that means palm tree or date, had been in Israel for 20 years.

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is considered endangered species due to threats of habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation.


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