We have recently opened in March 2022 under the name “Bukit Elephant Park”. Our guides and Mahouts are professional and full of knowledge about elephants because they have been working in this field for more than 20 years. Below you will find the story of the history of the elephant park and how we became the new owners.
We are a group of people from Bangkok. We met each other for the first time when the former owners asked for our help. Previously the elephant sanctuary was known under a different name. The former owners were in a difficult situation to maintain their sanctuary because of various reasons. The impact of Covid-19 situation was one of the reasons why the elephant park was falling down. This situation has put the survival of the elephants at risk. Bukit elephant sanctuary is home to 6 elephants, and live here with their beloved Mahouts. Also, guides and other employees at this sanctuary were losing their jobs at that time. All of them, including the elephants, have been living here for many years. This has become their home. All of the mahouts and guides love the elephants. They do their job with love. Unfortunately, no other sanctuaries were able to help these amazing animals. The cost to keep them was too much. Elephants eat a lot of food every day. Thus, hoping all six elephants would be rescued by others would be impossible. At that time, we were contacted by one of the former members to come here.
After we learned everything we decided to jump in and help. We shared the same goals. We wanted to help protect the elephants and the employees. To conclude, we are the new owner of the old sanctuary. We want to make this sanctuary a home to elephants. We want them to live happily and peacefully at our park. Also we wanted to preserve the careers of the guides and Mahouts. They are happy to be here with elephants. Even though we are new owners, we saw the professionalism and care that the Mahouts and guides provide and want to help carry this tradition. They have been working here for more than 20 years. We are extremely glad to meet all of them and have an amazing opportunity to save the elephant’s lives. Opportunities like these do not come easy, but we are lucky and dedicated to help rescue and save this sanctuary.
We have only been open for a few months and are working hard to make our name known to others. Therefore, we would like you to visit our elephants, mahouts, and guides for showing your support to us. Your visit will be a big help for us to continue this project of helping elephants living their best lives here.
Why we do not offer elephant riding and bathing?
Both activities are not great for elephants and also to the customer’s safety. Elephants are like humans. They sometimes want to be alone. They want to bathe alone. They want to roam alone by themselves or with their favorite herd. The reason that elephants love to bathe themselves alone is that they want to enjoy the mud in the pond and to dive into the pond. If the customers are also in the same pond with them, they might not be happy to share their happy and private time with other humans. Being in the pond with humans can cause them stress. When the elephants are under stress, they could behave differently which means that your safety is in danger in the pond. Please remember that elephants are giant creatures. They have more power than us. It is still dangerous to humans if we do not know how to handle them. When elephants are stressed and start to behave in different ways like running, our mahouts have to do something to stop them from hurting the customers. This could go back to controlling them by using hooks in order to command the elephants to stay still. We do not want this punishment to happen to the elephants. The same goes by, we do not want any harm to happen to our dear customers in any way. Every elephant here at the park is considered as a family member. Every elephant has been rescued by us to live in this paradise. We take care of them as our family. We do not use hooks and chains at all because we understand the problems of using those things. It does not only hurt the elephants, but it also hurts us to watch them live in a terrible situation.
Since bathing with elephants in the pond can be dangerous to our customers. We have decided not to offer the program with elephant bathing. We want our customers to be happy and to be safe and go back to the hotels with a happy smile. All of us here are ready to welcome you with open arms. We will give you a heartfelt experience and promise to take good care of all customers during the guided tour ensuring a safe and fun adventure.
Our goals this year
This year we want to maintain our elephant sanctuary to survive from the COVID-19 situation. We aim to be able to afford the expenses as soon as possible. This would be the first objective that we are trying to accomplish. As we have just opened not long ago, we are not well-known among the tourists and travelers in Phuket. Therefore, we are trying extremely hard to broadcast our name to the visitors. There are so many reasons why we really want our sanctuary to survive.
For the first reason, we want to be able to support and rescue more elephants into our sanctuary. We want them to live happily in an actual natural habitat. Most of the elephants in Thailand in other places have to work in the elephants’ shows and elephant riding for their survival. Those businesses are attracting many tourists to visit them. The tourists will definitely get the beautiful picture back home. However, the reality of elephant riding and elephant’s show is full of training with the hooks and chains. It has always been this method to teach the elephants to behave as they command to welcome the tourists. For this reason, we would like to rescue them to our sanctuary, so we can make sure that they will be safe here and away from the tortured situations. Here we have our mahouts who can take care of the elephants 24/7. Our mahout’s homes are near the elephants’ sleeping place. Besides rescuing them from the elephants’ show and elephant riding, providing the elephants in this type of sanctuary will make sure that they will survive from the hunters in the forest. The hunting for elephant’s ivory is terribly critical. Some people believe that owning the ivory would help them have more money and give them a higher social status. With this belief, the ivory trade is madness. Also, the laws in Thailand are not strong enough to punish the people who are powerful and rich in this country. The laws are solely effective for the poor. Therefore, it is quite dangerous out there for the elephants to survive. We are not saying we will rescue all the elephants in Thailand. It is impossible for us to make that happen. However, we would like to rescue more elephants that are in the tortured situation if we are capable of doing so. We think that it would help their survival rates in some way or another.
Another reason we want to be able to maintain our elephant park is to help our mahouts and guides keep their jobs. Our mahouts and tour guides have been working at this job for a very long time. It has been their entire life for most of them(around 20 years living here). They are full of knowledge about elephants, which is fascinating. I, a content writer, can feel the love of the mahouts and our tour guides to the elephants. They are happy to work here and willing to take care of the elephants with all their hearts. They want to be in Phuket and work here. They adore the elephants as much as the tourists adore the elephants. It has been their second home. The bonding between the elephants and them is hard to break. If they do not have the sanctuary to work at, they have to go back to their home which is in other provinces. Even though they can find a job there, there is a low possibility of finding a good job with good money because the tourists are much less than in Phuket. Besides, they would not be happy as much as working here with their favorite elephant.
The second goal is to spread the awareness and knowledge of the consequences of elephant riding and elephant bathing. For the elephant riding and elephant’s show, the elephant needs to be trained by using hooks and chains. Moreover, the elephant bathing is an activity that is dangerous to the tourists and also interrupts the elephant’s happy time. However, this knowledge is not spread enough to the majority of the tourists. Therefore, we would like to send this message on how we should treat our national and beloved animal. We want this message to spread out to the majority of people. Humans need to learn how to live with elephants in an ethical way. No hurting. No torturing. There are many ways for us to enjoy the elephant tour without hurting them or interfering with their happiness. It is challenging to spread this message out because there are always some businesses that are relying on these kinds of elephant tours.