4 min read

Woman Sees Pile Of Ducks Tied Up In Road — And Drops Everything To Help

“I couldn't leave that place without helping those ducks" ❤💪

The duck’s feet were tied up with a thin strip of plastic — she couldn’t move, or even sit up. Instead, she just laid on her side.

This week, Lek Chailert, founder of Elephant Nature Park (ENP), a Thailand elephant sanctuary, was at a market in Laos buying food for her elephants when she spotted this duck, as well as several other ducks, lying on the dirty ground.

White duck with feet tied up with plastic string
Lek Chailert

“I saw these ducks, tied and ... terrified,” Chailert wrote in a Facebook post. “One by one, they were being bought and taken out to be killed for food.”

Ducks lying on ground at market
Lek Chailert

Chailert felt compelled to do something to help the ducks, so she quickly figured out a plan.

Ducks being weighed at the market
A woman weighing some ducks before they are slaughtered | Lek Chailert

“I have no home or residence in Laos but I have some Laos friends,” Chailert wrote on Facebook shortly after the rescue. “I couldn't leave that place without helping those ducks. I rescued them all and brought them to my friend's house, where they now stay in a temporary pen. Tomorrow we will make a better enclosure with a large space for them. Thanks to Sak Wongsawad and his family for kindly allowing these ducks to share a place on your property.”

Ducks waiting to be killed for food at market
Lek Chailert

A picture shows the rescued ducks wandering around a large yard next to a wooden shed, which is presumably the temporary pen.

Ducks on dirt pen
The ducks after being rescued | Lek Chailert

When Chailert isn’t rescuing ducks, she spends her time caring for elephants rescued from the tourism or logging industries in southeast Asia. Many elephants spend years being forced to lug logs through the forest or to carry tourists on their backs for elephant rides. To get elephants to obey, they’re put through a cruel training process called a crush — mahouts (elephant handlers) will shove them into cages, deprive them of food and beat them until their spirits break. The mahouts will also use chains and bullhooks (prods with sharp tips) to force the elephants to do what they’re told.

Woman holding rescued duck
Chailert holding one of the rescued ducks | Lek Chailert

Once Chailert and the team at ENP negotiate each elephant's freedom, the elephants are moved to the sanctuary in the Chiang Mai province, Northern Thailand, where they’ll never see a chain or bullhook again.

And now, the ducks are getting a similar taste of freedom and safety.

Rescued duck being held in woman's arms
Lek Chailert

“On my animal journey, I always find good friends with kind hearts who are willing to open their happiness to others living,” Chailert wrote on Facebook.

To help Chailert rescue more elephants and other animals, you can make a donation to ENP.