Connect with us

Environment

Samui Elephant Sanctuary wins ‘Responsible Thailand’ award in London

Thaiger

Published 

 on 

The Samui Elephant Sanctuary is this year’s winner of the ‘Responsible Thailand’ award in the category of Animal Welfare for its work rescuing and rehabilitating elephants in Thailand. The award was presented by His Excellency Mr. Pipat Ratchakitprakan, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports at the World Travel Market in London.

The same award was won by Elephant Nature Park last year. The Samui Elephant Sanctuary is a ‘sister’ sanctuary in Chiang Mai, highlighting the growing movement to save elephants from the trekking and ‘elephant ride’ industry.

Samui Elephant Sanctuary was the first ethical elephant sanctuary on Koh Samui in southern Thailand and is successfully freeing elephants from a lifetime of servitude, and at the same time pioneering ethical eco-tourism on the island. Since opening in January 2018 its owners have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the plight of the Asian elephant with local and international markets.

The sanctuary was inspired and is supported by Lek Chailert, world renowned elephant conservationist, founder of Save Elephant Foundation and the world famous Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. Lek is at the forefront of ethical elephant tourism in Thailand and throughout Asia, which is seeing a growing demand for elephant camps to transition from elephant riding to a sanctuary model, as promoted by Save Elephant Foundation and Asian Elephant Project’s ‘Saddle Off’ programs.

The plight of the Asian elephant has received significant media attention in recent times and the question of what qualifies as ‘ethical elephant tourism’ is coming under scrutiny and is a controversial topic within the industry.

Supporters say that elephant riding can lead to serious injuries and doesn’t allow elephants adequate time to eat and drink.

“This activity also leads to high levels of stress and has been known to cause miscarriages in pregnant elephants ridden to the point of exhaustion.”

However, many visitors to Thailand are unaware of the possible suffering caused to elephants by being ridden and performing in shows. A recent report revealed that 40% of tourists from the top 10 countries visiting Thailand were planning to do an elephant ride, which translates to a demand for around 12.8 million elephant rides in the country.

Other performances includes dancing, painting, playing football, balancing acts – all of them unnatural and demeaning behaviour, according to elephant welfare supporters.

Visitors to Samui Elephant Sanctuary have the unique experience of observing elephants in an environment where they are respected, allowed to form herds, and interact naturally without fear of punishment.

“The well-being of the elephants is paramount, and the income provided by visitors supports the ongoing mission to improve the lives of elephants throughout Asia through the Save Elephant Foundation.”

The ‘Responsible Thailand’ Awards are run by Wanderlust Travel Media on behalf of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and are intended to bring attention to and encourage Thailand’s dedication to the conservation of its natural and cultural resources, as well as support sustainable tourism development with consideration to the impact on our planet.

NOTE: The wild elephant population in Thailand has dwindled rapidly and is estimated today to be between 1500-3000, with some estimates as low as 1000. At the beginning of the 20th century, over 100,000 elephants are estimated to have roamed free in Thailand. The alarming demise is due to loss of habitat and poaching.

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Thaiger Talk Forums.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Koh Samui. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Crime2 hours ago

Motorbike thieves arrested after a million baht of bikes stolen

Tourism4 hours ago

300 tourism businesses given SHA Plus certification in Phuket

Chiang Rai5 hours ago

Police warn child pornography is a serious matter after teacher caught downloading clips

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Weather5 hours ago

Tropical storm Koguma brings heavy rain to North, Northeast

Thailand5 hours ago

(Another) poll (also) shows Thais’ lack of confidence in vaccine campaign

Politics6 hours ago

Despite rumours, PM and goverment not planning early election

Thailand7 hours ago

Thai PM not happy with soccer gambling

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Doctors demand the government be more honest about Covid-19

Songkhla8 hours ago

Songkhla officials investigate pricey street lamps

Crime8 hours ago

Illegal casino operator accused of 4 charges including murder

Thailand9 hours ago

Survey shows lack of confidence in Government’s handling of vaccinations

Thailand9 hours ago

Goverment kind of discloses what the secret budget is spent on

Weather10 hours ago

Penis statue works as village sees rain after erection

Eastern Thailand10 hours ago

Man busted for allegedly possessing over 100 marijuana plants, selling marijuana online

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Bangkok parks, salons, tattoo, massage reopen Monday

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending