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Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is a Loving Home for Elephants

During our trip to Phuket, Thailand, one of the activities that I had high on my “must-do” list was to observe the largest land mammals on earth – elephants. I absolutely adore elephants and couldn't leave the island without seeing at least one. Fortunately, on the day we were leaving, we were able to visit the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, which is the only ethical elephant sanctuary on the island.

The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is a home for retired working elephants and is situated on 30 acres of lush tropical jungle. Visitors have the unique opportunity to observe how elephants rehabilitate into forest life after living decades of abuse by their previous owners.

Established in 2016, the sanctuary currently has eight elephants. It serves as a final home for old and injured elephants who were forced to work in the tourism or logging industry. All of the elephants have endured physical pain and injuries from being ordered to comply with the labor demands.

 Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

Photo Credit: Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

 Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

Phuket Elephant Sanctuary Facts

The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is a joint venture between Mr. Montri Todtane, an elephant camp owner in Phuket, and the famous elephant rescuer and conservationist Lek Chailert, who is the founder of the Save Elephant Foundation. 

After the success of Lek Chailert's Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, which aims to provide a natural habitat for elephants, the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is the first of its kind in Phuket. It aims to rescue, retire, and rehabilitate elephants that have previously worked in the trekking and logging industries, with a focus on high animal welfare standards. 

Over the past decade, Lek Chailert has been instrumental in driving change in the industry, encouraging elephant riding camp owners to embrace change through the Save Elephant Foundation's ‘Saddle Off' program. Although there is still work to be done, her tireless efforts have resulted in many camp owners approaching Elephant Nature Park to learn more about ethical tourism and elephant welfare. 

It's important to note that mud bathing with elephants, which is not ethical, is not practiced at this sanctuary. The elephants are free to live out the rest of their lives in peace and good health.

 Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

 Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

 Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

Choose Love

“Anyone who has read my blog or knows me personally can attest that my motto is to ‘Choose Love' above all else. The owners of Phuket Elephant Sanctuary have definitely lived up to this motto by saving these poor elephants from a lifetime of abuse.”

Chimpanzee Sanctuary 

Check out a video of the elephants swimming! (Credit: Phuket Elephant Sanctuary)

 Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

Photo Credit: Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

The Elephants at Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

Gawe Ta (Early 50's)            Rescued December 8, 2016
Jan Jao (39 years old)       Rescued August 30, 2017
Kannika (35 years old)        Rescued September 20, 20
Madee (68 years old)                 Rescued September 20, 2016
Richy (70 years old)             Rescued January 25, 2018
Sai Tong (55 years old)       Rescued April 19, 2018
Sroy Fah (Early 30's)             Rescued February 8, 2018
Tong Kwaw (38 years old)         Rescued December 14, 2017

Five Fun Facts I Learned About Elephants: 

  1. An elephant’s trunk weighs around 400 pounds and contains around 100,000 different muscles.
  2. Elephants have finger-like appendages at the tip and are nimble enough to pluck a single blade of grass.
  3. Elephants are thought to have the best sense of smell of all animals.  Not too surprising as they have the largest nose in the world.
  4. Elephants do not use their trunks to drink through.  They use their trunks to draw water and then spray it into their mouths.
  5. The wrinkles in an elephant's skin hold in moisture which helps to keep their skin healthy.

Save the Elephants!

If you ever find yourself in Phuket, I highly recommend paying a visit to the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary. Here, you can see rescued elephants living in their natural habitat, and the best part is that it's the only ethical elephant sanctuary in Phuket. There are several elephant sanctuaries around, so make sure to select this one to ensure you are supporting the ethical treatment of these beautiful animals. You can find all details regarding address, tour information, cost, etc. by clicking on one of their social channels below. They also offer volunteer programs, so you can help make a difference.

Get Social with Phuket Elephant Sanctuary!


We were hosted by the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary and not compensated to write this post.
As always, the views expressed in my post are my own.

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