Young man has heart for elephants

Young man at march is inspired to save rhino. Image / Dale Smith

Jack Lanting is fundraising to save an elephant from a life of torture.

The 14-year-old Te Awamutu local has previously sponsored an elephant from Thailand who recently passed away.

“When I was eight, mum gave me a budget and taught me how to Google and said ‘we’re going to Thailand for a month’ and you have, say, $600 and a week’,” he says.

Lanting says he saw travel company Flight Centre promoting the elephants as attractions, with pictures of elephants painting and trekking. After undertaking some research, he found out that they do a lot of recreational activities like soccer – which he says at first looked appealing.

“Each elephant has a different sense of humour,” Lanting told the Waikato Times. “Some are wickedly evil, some have spunk.”

Lanting’s mother, Viv, then researched about the activities the elephants were doing and shared with her son about the punishment the elephants go through.

Lanting then decided he’d go to the Elephant Nature Park and use his budget to fundraise the cost of an elephant, $20 000, and managed to do so.

Since his orphaned elephant passed due to natural causes, Lanting is looking to sponsor another elephant.

His teacher, Tracey Hand, has been helping him fundraise the $16 000 required.

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