About the WFFT Elephant Refuge
We run Asia’s first completely chain-free elephant sanctuary. No elephant is ever chained up, day or night.
The forested land around the rescue centre gives our rescued elephants the chance to roam around in near-natural surroundings. Our large elephant enclosures, up to 18 hectares each, have natural trees, lakes and grazing areas. These give our elephants the space to move around and socialise with other elephants.
If you wish to volunteer ethically with elephants, then WFFT Elephant Refuge is the place to come. Read more here …
Elephants in Thailand
Thailand is home to populations of both wild and domesticated Asian elephant. The domestic population is sadly made up of animals that have been caught from the wild or bred in captivity. These animals have been trained/broken to live and work in the tourist or logging industry.
Today, Thailand’s wild population elephant population is struggling for survival. The wild elephant population of Thailand is estimated at 2,200 individuals, who live in open grasslands and dense rainforests spread over the country. Historically, domestic elephants have been used predominantly in the logging industry: ironically and unwillingly helping to destroy the very habitat they rely on to survive.
After the ban on logging in 1989, most of the logging elephants ended up being used in the tourist industry or used to make a living by begging on the streets of big cities. Walking day and night on dirty and traffic-congested streets is detrimental to the elephant’s health, and unnatural. Street begging elephants often end up being involved in road traffic accidents, with fatalities commonly occurring for both the elephant and the mahout.
Unfortunately, in Thailand, there are currently no laws to prevent this abuse and mistreatment. Therefore, there is an urgent need to help these animals.