This elephant sanctuary was established to help a former trekking camp near Chiang Mai transition out of elephant riding and adopt a more compassionate approach to elephant tourism. The elephants living here are relishing their retirement from logging and elephant riding and instead spend much of their day interacting with each other while wandering the jungle, feeding on native vegetation as well as fruits and vegetables, and bathing in the river. Since joining our ‘Saddle Off!’ program, the elephants have put on weight and are noticeably calmer.
This project provides a caring home for three elephants now retired from a life of arduous work in the logging industry and elephant riding. The elephants living here now get to spend much of the day doing what comes naturally – roaming through the jungle, foraging for wild vegetation, bathing in the river, giving themselves a mud bath, scratching against trees, and socializing with each other. At this project, an emphasis is placed on providing visitors with insights into caring for elephants, their habits, and how to interact with them respectfully.
Project title: Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE)
Location: South Asia – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka
Southeast Asia – Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam
Duration: May 2017 – December 2019
This elephant sanctuary, located by the Mae Taeng River near Elephant Nature Park in Northern Thailand, is one of the first projects developed that has seen the traditional activities of elephant camps transformed under our ‘Saddle Off!’ model. Seeking an alternative to offering elephant riding and performances, the owner was happy to change to a mutually beneficial program where the elephants have the freedom to socialize and walk through the jungle foraging on native plants, while a small group of guests experiences a meaningful, intimate encounter with these majestic animals.
This elephant sanctuary, set high in the picturesque mountains near Chiang Mai, boasts some of the most stunning scenery in Northern Thailand. It is home to four beautiful elephants rescued from riding and performing in shows in Kanchanaburi, along with many other rescued animals, including dogs, pigs, goats, ducks, chickens, and rabbits. The animals living at Elephant Highlands are treated humanely and with love.