Elephant Nature Park Celebrates 10 years at location One decade, hundreds of elephants helped

The renowned Elephant Nature Park, operated by Save Elephant Foundation's Sangduen "Lek" Chailert, celebrates 10 years at its current location in northern Thailand.

Online PR News – 30-March-2013 – Chiang Mai, Thailand – Ten years ago, Sangduen “Lek” Chailert, founder of Save Elephant Foundation, received a donation from Bert and Christine Von Roemer to purchase a 50-acre parcel of land nestled in a valley in the gorgeous Maeteang region of northern Thailand.

This became the new home for Chailert's burgeoning sanctuary for rescued elephants, Elephant Nature Park.

On 16 April, the park celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the purchase of this property. With nearly 100 elephants having passed through the land's green pastures, and currently home to 34 elephants, more than 400 rescued dogs, cats, water buffalo and other animals, the park – and Chailert – have gained a reputation for being one of the leaders of animal conservation in Thailand and the world. In addition, the park and its numerous programs have helped hundreds of elephants throughout the decade.

“Ten years ago, my dream was to create a place where captive elephants could be rehabilitated and learn to be wild again,” said Chailert. “Now, to be able to see that makes my heart smile.”

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary, SEF is reaching out to those who first visited the park in 2003 and creating special events throughout the year.

Currently, the foundation has had to put a halt to the rescuing of additional elephants as the land has reached capacity. SEF is actively raising funds to purchase an additional 200 acres of land across the Maetaeng River.

“It is the goal of the foundation to purchase this land and release some of our elephants there to roam freely all of the time, as well as to rescue additional elephants in the future,” she said. “Ten years from now, I would love this to be a place where all of the elephants who live here are able to live without any human interaction.”

About Elephant Nature Park: Beyond the concrete jungle of Chiang Mai, Thailand, lies an entirely different jungle. A real jungle where lush, tree-covered mountains are home to numerous species of animals. Within this jungle is a special place — Elephant Nature Park (ENP). Unlike other tourist outfits in Thailand, ENP delivers something unique — a chance to interact with elephants without exploiting them. ENP provides a sanctuary for these creatures broken by tourism and the illegal logging industry.

Founded in 1995 by Sangduen “Lek” Chailert, ENP gives these magnificent animals a new lease on life. At ENP, there are no tricks. There are no rides. No elephant paintings can be bought. Here, these elephants are allowed to live their lives free from bull hooks, free from abuse. Home to more than 30 elephants, most of which have been saved from the tourist and illegal logging industries, the Park offers visitors the opportunity to engage with the animals. Operating daily trips to ENP, visitors can choose to spend the day, night or even more mingling with these creatures in their natural habitat. At ENP, guests can feed the elephants and bathe them, and also learn about the plight of the Asian elephant and what they can do to help. For more information, please visit www.saveelephant.org/elephant_nature_park.html

About Save Elephant Foundation: A Thai non-profit organization, Save Elephant Foundation is dedicated to providing care and assistance to Thailand’s captive elephant population. It operates through a multifaceted approach, which involves local community outreach, rescue and rehabilitation programs and educational ecotourism operations. Its projects include: Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary for more than 30 elephants, which is consistently ranked as one of Chiang Mai’s top attractions by Trip Advisor; Journey to Freedom; Surin Project; Jumbo Express; Elephant Haven; Elephant Sanctuary Cambodia at the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary and more. The foundation is currently planning to open a new sanctuary in Myanmar. For more information and to stay up-to-date on the foundation, visit www.saveelephant.org. The foundation can be found on Facebook (/saveelephantfoundation) and Twitter (@save_elephant).