Meet the Herd at Samui Elephant Sanctuary

Samui Elephant Sanctuary’s concept of elephant care and welfare is inspired and supported by Lek Chailert, world-renowned elephant conservationist, the founder of Save Elephant Foundation and world-famous Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. Lek is at the forefront of ethical elephant tourism both in Thailand and throughout Asia, which is seeing a growing demand for elephant camps to transition from a trekking to sanctuary model under the Save Elephant Foundation’s ‘Saddle Off’ program.

They offer tours that educate about the importance of these phenomenal, majestic giants, with a unique opportunity to feed, walk with, and observe their elephants as they forage, socialize, and play in their fabulous purpose-built pool. These elephants have previously endured a hard life working long hours for the tourism entertainment or logging industries; a striking contrast to the happy and peaceful lives they are now living, with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Kham San

Kham San is a female elephant born around 1967 in Surin in the Northeast of Thailand. She was initially used in the logging industry until this was banned by the government in 1989. Kham San then followed the treacherous movement of life after logging into a life of trekking, providing numerous exhausting rides per day for tourists. Around 2002, she was moved to Koh Samui where she continued to be used to provide rides to tourists.

Kham San was rescued to our sanctuary on Thursday 28th December 2017. She now spends her days adjusting to her new life and she never has to worry about being forced to work again – instead, she is provided with the rehabilitation she so adoringly deserves.

Kham San can be recognized by the hole in her right ear which was inflicted upon her by the previous mahout as a mechanism to control her.

Sri Nin

Sri Nin is a female elephant born around 1967 in Ranong in Southern Thailand. She initially worked in the logging industry until the Government banned logging in 1989 when she was moved to work in tourism entertainment industry, providing rides for tourists. She was brought to Koh Samui in 1999, where she continued to work in trekking.

Sri Nin is blind in her left eye which was caused after her previous mahout, horrifyingly, used a slingshot to blind her as she didn’t comply with their command. This has caused Sri Nin to be quite a nervous elephant and she can become easily startled. To add to Sri Nin’s unique features, when she was young, part of her tail was bitten off by another elephant – this makes her easy to recognize in our herd.

Finally, Sri Nin’s happiness was provided when she was rescued to Samui Elephant Sanctuary on Wednesday 3rd January 2018. Here she is now able to enjoy her newfound freedom, surrounded by endless amounts love and care that she so readily deserves.

San Kham (Cartoon)

Cartoon (San Kham) adds to our herd as another one of our female elephants. She was born around 1962 in Surin in the northeast of Thailand. Cartoon was first used in the logging industry until this was finally banned by the Government in 1989. She was then forced to enter the tourism industry where everyday life consisted in providing grueling, persistent rides, time after time, all day for tourists.

Cartoon was brought to Koh Samui around 2002 and continued the day to day life of providing tourist rides until she was rescued to our sanctuary on Monday 1st January 2018, joining our happy herd. She now spends her days happy to roam free throughout the sanctuary. Her favorite day activities are foraging for food, socializing and embracing her new life surrounded by love and dignity, knowing she is safe, every day for the rest of her life.

Nong Pech

Nong Pech was born on Koh Samui in 2012. In 2014 she was taken to Surin in the northeast of Thailand to be used in street begging. During this time she had a terrible accident whereby she fell down a drain. It took two years for her to recover from this and she was moved to a project in Surin to support her recovery.

It was here that she found her best friend Moloair. Although Nong Pech is the younger of the two she is the leader and is extremely protective of her friend.

On Thursday 18th January 2018, Nong Pech arrived at Samui Elephant Sanctuary with her best friend Moloair, and these inseparable friends bathe, play, and roam around the sanctuary as happy as can be.


Moloair was born in 2009 in Tak province in western Thailand near to the Myanmar border. From a very young age, she was cruelly trained to perform in the elephant circus in the south of Thailand. During this time she was stabbed in her trunk many times by her mahout. As a result, she has a significant injury to her lower trunk and does not like her trunk to be touched.

In 2016, she was brought to a project in Surin province after being rescued from her previous life and on her arrival she was still extremely distressed and she cried for 3 months. During this time Nong Pech tried to comfort her every day but Moloair continued to push her away. After a few months, Moloair finally accepted Nong Pech to be her friend and the strong bond between them has grown ever since. On Thursday 18th January 2018, Moloair arrived at Samui Elephant Sanctuary with her best friend Nong Pech.

Please visit and support Samui Elephant Sanctuary if you are around Koh Samui.

For more information please contact Ry Emmerson who is now assisting the project:

March 25, 2018 Koh Samui, Luxury Travel, Thailand, Travel Tips , , , ,
About SILK

SILK is led by a team of dedicated hospitality professionals with 70 years of combined experience serving the Thai luxury sector. We specialize in the management and marketing of the best villas and vacation rentals in Koh Samui. SILK is part of a group of strategically related companies working together to offer a range of premium services including property development, real estate sales and marketing, event management, catering, and private villa rentals on Koh Samui.

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