Goal - $1500 ALREADY RAISED AND DONATED!
Need - Purchase more land. "The constant threat of deforestation to the property abutting BLES is our new reality. Only 15% of Thailand remains forestland and we are desperate to realize our dream of a release project by expanding our acreage.
In as much as we have been able to provide safety as well as physical and mental rehabilitation for our elephants, our intention is their eventual transition to independent living. It has always been our conviction that our elephants be returned to as natural a habitat as possible and live out their lives with dignity. By securing an area that is absent from human-inflicted danger, BLES elephants will learn to live as elephants are meant to — in a self-reliant herd.
Wild elephant populations in Thailand have all but disappeared while the domesticated elephant population continues to increase. Forced breeding to satisfy the demands of elephant-back tourism has become a new industry.
We aim to educate tourists to understand how destructive elephant trekking and elephant performances are. However, if managed properly, a new type of elephant tourism can be introduced which is our hope. BLES proposes an evolved elephant tourism that educates and encourages participation that will provide a much needed lifeline for the elephants of Thailand.They are also able to keep their male elephants unchained during their musthe period when they can be dangerous to anyone or anything near them." Katherine Connor - Founder of Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary
Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary near Sukhothai, Thailand is one of the most ethical and true sanctuaries for Elephants. They limit the number of visitors to the sanctuary in order to keep the human/elephant interaction to a minimum. They strive to keep the setting of the sanctuary as close as possible to what it is like for elephants that are free and in the wild.
During my stay at the sanctuary, stories of the lives of the elephants before they were rescued were shared, and although it is heart breaking that most were abused by their mahouts, or trainers, this organization did not want to perpetuate hate and hostility towards mahouts. Poverty levels in Thailand being at extreme lows and lack of job opportunities makes it challenging for people to say no to a job, regardless of how awful responsibilities are.
The mahouts at this organization use verbal cues to keep them out of danger and keep them from walking out too far or into property that does not belong do BLES. Also, on rescue missions for new elephants, they bring along as many mahouts as they can which in turn helps BLES spread the word of using more humane tactics with elephants.