A brighter future for elephants
A lifetime of suffering
In entertainment venues across Asia thousands of elephants suffer daily, far from their homes in the wild, and are forced to provide rides and perform unnatural tricks for tourists. Calves are torn from their mothers and trained to learn tricks and to carry heavy seats with people.
When not performing or interacting with tourists, many are kept on short chains, while others are locked in small pens, unable to roam and interact freely as they would in the wild.
The elephant friendly solution
Fortunately, a small, but growing number of venues are showing the way to an elephant friendly future. One of these is the elephant sanctuary MandaLao Elephant Conservation in Laos.
MandaLao’s elephants have spent most of their lives used by tourist attractions and in logging camps, and many of them have the scars to prove it. Now they spend their days roaming the jungle and bathing in the river. Visitors can observe the elephants just being elephants at a safe distance.
At risk of starvation
When the COVID-19 pandemic restricted travel, tourists stopped coming. And that meant no income to feed and care for the elephants, putting them at risk of starvation, malnutrition, and health problems.
With donations from our supporters, we provided vital emergency aid to MandaLao and other elephant sanctuaries during the pandemic. Even now, only a small number of tourists have returned to Laos and therefore we continue to help with funds for food, veterinary care, staff, and running costs.
This support has not only helped MandaLao survive – it has also meant that the sanctuary has been able to take in more elephants who were living in squalid conditions.
“We were given Mae Vahn and Mae Thum at the beginning of July 2022. Both of the two female elephants had been used for entertainment and rides from nearby elephant camps. Their health deteriorated dramatically during the pandemic due to lack of food and water. By now, they are fatter and in much better condition.”
Christopher Gramsch, MandaLao Elephant Conservation
It is vitally important that elephant friendly venues like MandaLao survive. Without the help from our supporters, these elephants would be at risk of being sent back to the cruel conditions at traditional elephant camps. MandaLao and similar elephant friendly venues act as good examples, showcasing that it is absolutely unnecessary to exploit these magnificent animals for entertainment purposes to attract tourists. At these sanctuaries, tourists get to experience animals in a much more natural environment.