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Ethical Elephant Sanctuaries In Thailand

Ethical Elephant Sanctuaries In Thailand

If you’re an animal lover, you have a thing for elephants. Elephant sanctuaries in Thailand treat these vast creatures like the intelligent and graceful animals they are. The best places to find elephants in Thailand ensure the animals are treated kindly, where they are protected and receive the medical care they need. So here’s everything you need to know about the most ethical elephant sanctuaries in Thailand, so you don’t make a mistake by contributing to the wrong organizations. 

History of Elephants in Thailand

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Elephants, Thailand’s national animal, have been an essential part of Thai society for centuries, and there is no doubt that they have profoundly impacted the country’s culture. In the 1940s, elephants played an important role in manual labor during the wars. Since then, they have become royal iconography and have also been involved in tourism. Elephants were not loved or cared for like they are today time.

For thousands of years in Thailand, elephants have been caged and taught to lift heavy logs and carry them through the forests. After the war ended, the elephants became part of the entertainment industry, performing tricks for the public and the tourism industry. When they took travelers from one place to another, it was in 2010 that legislation was passed to protect elephants, making these acts illegal.

The Habitat of Elephants in Thailand

Elephants are often spotted in the tropical forests of northern and western Thailand. So keep an eye out for them when walking through these areas. These areas include Mae Hong Son, the border with Burma, and Chumphon. Days Thailand was 90% forested. Illegal farming and logging severely impacted forest cover, which then fell to a record low of 31.6%. This has caused the deaths of many Thai elephants and put them on the endangered species list.

Laws for Elephant Protection in Thailand

Elephants are protected in Thailand by the Wild Animals Reservation and Protection Act 1992. Ethical Elephant Sanctuaries in Thailand have done a remarkable job of conserving elephants under this law. The Department of National Parks announced in 2017 that the number of wild elephants has increased by 8-9%

How Can I help Elephant Sanctuaries in Thailand?


Elephants are brilliant creatures, and if you are passionate about protecting the world’s largest land mammal, volunteering at an ethical elephant sanctuary in Thailand could be for you. Most sanctuaries are home to retired elephants that are no longer viable in the wild and require human assistance for day-to-day care and feeding. One should consider the following aspects before choosing the organization in which to volunteer. First, it must be an ethical sanctuary for elephants to live as they please. Stay away from fake shrines that use elephants for performances or promote elephant riding.

Second, an ethical elephant sanctuary ensures volunteers train with mahouts, or elephant handlers, to ensure they interact safely with elephants. Travel insurance when working with animals is always a smart move. Third, volunteering means spending only some of your time with elephants. It involves manual labor such as cleaning enclosures, preparing food, helping with construction projects on site, etc. Some great grassroots volunteer projects where you can devote your time to working with elephants in Thailand are Kindred Spirits Elephant Sanctuary, Burn and Emily’s Elephant Sanctuary, The Surin Project, Mahout’s Elephant Foundation, and Elephant Nature Park.

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