Elephant Nature Park is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center in Northern Thailand. The Park was founded by renowned elephant rights advocate, Saengduean Chailert, better known as Lek, and is the first elephant sanctuary of its kind established in Asia. Many of the elephants living at the Park have been rescued from street begging, elephant riding, and circus shows, where they often sustained both physical and psychological injuries. The Park’s herds include blind, crippled, orphaned, and senior elephants who are now free to live a peaceful life in natural surroundings, where they are loved and respected. Elephant Nature Park provides educational programs that help visitors better understand the plight of the Asian elephant and the challenges faced in protecting this endangered, keystone species. More than an elephant sanctuary, the Park is also home to hundreds of other rescued animals, including dogs, cats, horses, buffalo, cows, pigs, birds, goats and more.
Samui Elephant Sanctuary (SES) was inspired by the work of Lek Chailert - founder of Save Elephant Foundation, who leads the movement advocating for the ethical treatment of elephants throughout Asia. It is the first elephant sanctuary on the island to adopt our ‘Saddle Off’ model. The sanctuary offers both morning and afternoon programs based on observing and learning about the elephants in a relaxed environment – socializing, foraging, playing in the mud pit, and in their custom built pool. Guests will have the opportunity to walk with these gentle giants, as well as feed them fruit and vegetables. The elephants living at the sanctuary have been retired from a life of toil giving rides and performing in shows as well as serving hard time in the logging industry. These lucky elephants are now living a more natural, peaceful life, where they are respected and admired for the complex and fascinating animals that they are.
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is the first of its kind on the island, having adopted our ‘Saddle Off’ model, based on the compassionate treatment of elephants. Set on 30 acres of lush jungle bordering Khao Phra National Park, the sanctuary provides a peaceful home to eight lucky elephants relishing their retirement from an arduous life in the logging industry, elephant riding, and performing tricks in shows. At the sanctuary, you will have the opportunity to learn about the elephants through observing them interacting with each other in a beautiful setting with the freedom to forage and express their natural instincts. By visiting this project you are supporting a more evolved, sustainable form of elephant tourism, where the focus is on the well-being of the elephants living at the sanctuary.
Pattaya Elephant Sanctuary provides a caring home for rescued elephants where they can live more naturally and be visited respectfully by guests. The sanctuary adheres to an ethical model, which means no chains or bullhooks, no riding or performances, and limited interaction with people. This allows the elephants the freedom to express their natural behaviours, including foraging in the jungle, interacting with each other, playing in the mud, and bathing in the pool. As well as benefiting the elephants, this model provides visitors with a more gratifying, authentic experience. The elephants now living at the sanctuary previously endured much hardship in their lives. They were forced to perform in shows and be used for elephant riding, or were taken to the streets to beg for food. Now they have a safe home where they can form bonds and just be elephants.
Samui Elephant Haven opened in August 2018 on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand following the Saddle Off model. SEH is an ethical sanctuary for elephants and is a home to a group of elephants rescued from street begging, elephant riding and performing in shows. Original Samui Elephant Haven had just 3 elephants but now is home to 13 elephants. Both morning and afternoon tours are offered, providing guests with the heart warming experience of being among elephants in nature. Visitors get to learn about the elephants while feeding them and observing their behaviour, playing in their custom built pool and mud pit, communicating with each other as well as foraging while wandering the tropical grounds. This project aims to provide a caring home for elephants where visitors can come to experience the majesty of these extraordinary animals living more naturally.
This is a progressive project formed in cooperation with an elephant camp located about 50km from Kanchanaburi, Western Thailand. The owner of this previous trekking camp has welcomed the shift to the Saddle Off model, retiring his elephants from riding and shows and ending the used of bullhooks. During the day a small herd of elephants roam and socialize freely, frolic in the mud pools, forage in the jungle, and cool off together in the river. Guests are provided with the special opportunity to experience being with elephants in a natural setting where they can observe the fascinating world of elephant behaviour, including the complexities of social interaction. This project offers one day visits and overnight stays. The elephants are well cared for and enjoying a better life in nature, where they can explore and just be elephants.
Located in Northern Sumatra, Barumun Nagari Wildlife Sanctuary (BNWS) was established in April 2015 to create a sanctuary for mistreated elephants from throughout Indonesia. At the sanctuary, there are currently 15 elephants being rehabilitated. Here, their nutritional needs and health concerns are addressed as well as their mental health. As a result of spending so much time on chains, and being denied any semblance of a natural life, the elephants developed PTSD. Now these elephants have 32 ha. of jungle to roam, and sleep in chain free shelters. The aim of the sanctuary is to provide a place of rest where the elephants can live with a sense of peace and dignity. This is the first program of its kind in the country and will hopefully serve as inspiration for others to give these magnificent animals the respect that they deserve. The sanctuary offers day visits, overnight stays, as well as a one week volunteer program.