Elephant Food Gifts

For Saddle Off Projects

Since the Covid crisis grounded travel over one year ago, the Saddle Off projects have received almost no visitors and during this time it has been a struggle to provide sufficient food for the elephants. Many of the elephants are able to forage on natural vegetation growing near the projects, but their diet needs to be supplemented with extra food, including grass and cornstalks. Elephants love sweet fruit and vegetables, but with no guests, the elephants only receive these treats occasionally now.

We’d like to thank all of the people who have bought elephant food gifts for the elephants over the past year. Your gifts have provided the elephants with a variety of food, including sugarcane, bananas, watermelon, papaya, pumpkin, pineapple, banana tree stalks, grass, cornstalks, and one of their favorite treats- banana health balls.

Thank you to all of our supporters who have given  food gifts to the elephants during these challenging times or sponsored an elephant. We appreciate your kind support.

Below are some photos of the fruit, vegetables, banana balls, grass, cornstalks and other food gifts that have been purchased and given to the elephants thanks to our supporters. Thank you to everyone who has helped to feed many elephants at the Saddle Off projects during these difficult times.


Elephant Food Delivery - Saddle Off Projects South of Chiang Mai

One afternoon in June, in a grassy field in the village near Karen Elephant Home in Mae Wang district, the Saddle Off project owners from the south of Chiang Mai came together to collect pickup trucks full of food to take back to their elephants. The farmers drove their pickups full of pumpkins and bananas for about 4.5 hours along mountain roads, before arriving at the village. The 5 tons of pumpkin, 700 bunches of bananas, 1 ton of sugarcane, and many bundles of wild grass were shared between 23 elephants from 7 different projects. Each elephant received around 200 kg of pumpkin, 30 bunches of bananas as well as sugarcane and grass, depending on the preferences of the elephants.

There was a real spirit of gratitude and cooperation among the Thai and Karen project owners, mahouts and farmers, all pitching in to weigh, divvy up, and load all the food onto pickups to be transported back to the elephants at the various projects.

A big thanks to all of our supporters who bought food gifts, which made the purchase of so much food for the elephants possible. We appreciate your generous support during these challenging times, which has been crucial to providing for the elephant’s food needs.

In early June, the elephants at the Saddle Off projects south of Chiang Mai enjoyed pumpkin, bananas, sugarcane and grass, thanks to the generosity of our supporters who enabled us to buy a large amount of food for the elephants. Your support provided some much appreciated nutrition for these beautiful elephants.

Banana Health Balls

Health balls for the elephants at our Saddle Off projects are made using a variety of ingredients, including cooked rice and corn, rice husks, mashed bananas, watermelon, papaya, cooked sweet potato, tamarind, salt, and sometimes turmeric and a medicinal vine. The elephants love these healthy treats, which aids their digestion.


All elephants at our Saddle Off projects love eating sugarcane except for some old elephants whose teeth are too worn down to chew it.  Sugarcane is a popular treat among elephants, which they always appreciate.

Baskets of Bananas

The elephants at our Saddle Off projects love eating bananas, a famously popular food among elephants- young and old alike. Young elephants will eat bananas one by one while older elephants often   pick whole bunches to chew together.

Mixed Fruit & Vegetables

Over the past year, the elephants at our Saddle Off projects have been treated to a great variety of fruit and vegetables served to them in baskets, in cakes, or left in piles for the elephants to enjoy.

Tubs of Watermelons

Sweet juicy watermelon is always happily received by elephants. Young elephants especially love watermelon but for all elephants at the Saddle Off projects, watermelon is a real treat.

Pickup Trucks of Grass & Cornstalks

Elephants have enormous appetites to match their enourmous size and grass and cornstalks make up a large part of their diet. At some projects,  grass grows naturally in the rainy season for the elephants to graze on. Pickup trucks full of grass and cornstalks need to be purchased regularly as a staple food for the elephants.

We do not normally ask for support of the elephants at our Saddle Off projects but in these extremely challenging times with no visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic, we greatly appreciate any gift you can give to help to buy food for the elephants.

NGO's Supporting the Elephants

We would like to thank Save Elephant Foundation and Trunks Up for the vital support they have provided to the the Saddle Off projects supported by Asian Elephant Projects. We work in cooperation with NGO's who are helping to support and feed many elephants during these difficult times. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation in the US please consider supporting Trunks Up, a non profit organization that is doing amazing work to support and rescue elephants in Thailand. Thank you for your kind support.

Scroll to Top