For over five thousand years elephants have been used by humans for a variety of reasons, whether it be tourism, logging or entertainment the end result is always the same: man profits while the elephant suffers. Here in Thailand many elephants are used for profit in the trekking and logging industry where they work long hours and suffer immensely at the hands of their trainers or “mahouts” as they are called here. Luckily, there is a place here in Phuket that fights hard for the rescue and rehabilitation of elephants from these terrible practices called the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary.
Established in November 2016 the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is pioneering the way for ethical elephant tourism by rescuing old or injured elephants and bringing them to a safe natural environment free from chains and abusive mahouts. Once here the elephants have the freedom to roam the former rubber tree plantation as they would in the wild. They are fed a healthy balanced diet twice a day and they have the privilege to eat all the bamboo they wish as they saunter through the sanctuary at their own free will. There is also a large man made lake fed by a natural spring in which they can bathe, play or just dip in to cool off on a hot day.
As the sanctuary continues growing and developing, the staff now offer half day tours where guests can come feed, walk with and observe the elephants in their natural habitat free from chains and demands of performing. Watch as they play and splash about in the lagoons or traipse through jungle of the plantation while they learn how to be elephants again. For those who wish to volunteer the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary offers a week long volunteer program that includes housing, 3 vegetarian meals a day and the satisfaction of knowing you are making a difference. The cost is 16,000 baht.
Day tours start at 3,000 baht per adult and 1,500 baht for children aged 12 and under. There is a central meeting point close to the Thaeo Prae National Park where a tuk-tuk will pick you up and transport you to the centre. Once there you will receive breakfast and start the education portion of your day; next you will get a chance to feed and interact with the elephants in a calm and friendly manner; and last you will be invited to observe the elephants as they go about the days. Once you have completed the observation portion of your day you will be served a wonderful vegetarian buffet before being transferred back to the pick up point.
All proceeds go to the upkeep and development of the sanctuary, the health and veterinary care of the elephants and the food for both the elephants and the staff who generously give their time and love to the rehabilitation of these majestic creatures.
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary Information
- Distance From Bismarcks Paradise:22.1 km (29) minutes
- Distance From Central Phuket:17.6 km (20) minutes
- Price Range:1500 - 3000 THB
- Opening Hours:8.30 - 13.30
- Address:116 Moo 2 Tharua-Muanmai, Tambon, Tambon Pa Klok, Amphoe Thalang, Chang Wat Phuket 83110
- Telephone:094 990 3649
- Website:Website from Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
- Facebook:Facebook from Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
- Contact Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
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