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Elephants in Khao Sok Need Urgent Help

241,198 THB / 2,500,000 THB
Raised by 94 persons in 283 days
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The Story
9 months ago

Khao Sok Elephant Sanctuary is home to four beautiful elephants. All four of them used to work in poor conditions in trekking and logging. The Sanctuary has been funded from donations and ethical tourist visitations, but with the rise of COVID-19, the elephants have been left to their caretakers, who are struggling to make ends meet. With the previous donations running out, we have about one month’s worth to pay for their food and care. We have set up this Weboon page as it is the only way for us to legally raise funds online in Thailand for our non-profit Sanctuary. 

Meet the Herd

Sinnin is an elephant rescued from the logging industry where she was forced to carry heavy items every day. She is darker in colour, and that’s what her name means - a little black stone. She is 46 years old, making her the oldest elephant in the sanctuary that needs plenty of rest and care. Despite being older, she has a great appetite and she loves playing with other elephants and is protective of the younger ones. She also loves children. We are desperate to buy her out from the current owner involved in the logging business, but the sanctuary’s financial situation only allows for renting her out temporarily. If we don’t receive additional donations, soon we may be in debt with the owner,  while buying Sinnin means a cost of THB 1 million (approximately USD 32,000). This is not possible without your help. 


Wassana is our younger girl, and she looks up to the Matriarch, Sinnin, very much. She would be devastated if Sinnin has to go. Although generally loving and friendly, she has a very strong bond with her caretaker, who is a local Mahout - but he left recently as visitors stopped coming to the sanctuary. Like most elephants, she sleeps only 2-3 hours per night, and without her Mahout, she needs to be chained during the night so that she doesn’t run into the nearby street, risking an injury from passing cars. 


Noi is our 43-year old male elephant and he loves eating sugar cane. He’s very sweet and loved by the Mahouts, but it is natural for him to become restless during musth. When he’s in heat, he becomes dangerous for Mahouts and himself, and we are extremely relieved we could provide a safe enclosure for him. 


Our youngest elephant, Makoon, is only 10 years old and he is currently in a free-roaming enclosure with Noi. Before coming to the sanctuary, Makoon he was used as a prop for photos at resorts in Khao Sok when he was a small baby, but now he will live full time at the sanctuary - chain-free for the first time in his life. With your help, we’ve been able to build a free-roaming enclosure for them. They are now enjoying life chain-free in the quiet and under the shade of the canopies. But they still need veterinary care, food, and someone to look after them as they are not used to living without humans.

What Do We Need Urgently?

Due to COVID-19 and the halt to tourism, the sanctuary is now in dire need. Most of the Mahouts responsible for elephant care have left for more profitable jobs, as we couldn’t afford to pay them enough to stay. We are currently financially supporting the whole family of the only Mahout that agreed to stay with us. We have another Mahour that agreed to help us part-time, but there is too much work in the sanctuary to be handled by two people. 

What Will Your Donations Be Used For?

When you donate to Khao Sok Elephant Sanctuary, your funds will be used to support our mission of maintaining the health and well-being of these elephants and hopefully soon to build a full sanctuary. 


A minimum of THB 70,000 (around US$2,250) every month is needed to function. The bare essential operational costs include:

♡ Paying 3 Mahouts a basic salary

♡ Veterinary care

♡ Food for the elephants

♡ Supporting the property

We still need to build a strong fence around the entire property to keep our two female elephants Wassana and Sinnin safe and to live a fully chain-free and peaceful life, too.

What Has Been Done so Far?

COVID-19 required us to take additional measures to ensure we can provide as much support for the elephants as our tight funds allow. Instead of buying food at local markets, we started growing our own pineapples and bananas. But small changes like that don’t reduce our budget significantly. We are also selling locally-grown herbs and any produce unsuitable for elephants to earn more funds and become more self-sufficient.


The local expat community has also started to donate food for the elephants, but they can’t possibly help paying for Sinnin’s rental fees, or any veterinary care in case one of our friends gets sick. We need to be prepared for such expenses and we are already putting all of our shrinking savings into the sanctuary.

What Do the Elephants Need for a Better Future?

We are passionate about our elephants and educating people about how important and majestic these animals can be. In the longer term, we would like to focus our efforts on building an educational visitor centre, where we can invite speakers to teach about elephant conservation in Thailand and worldwide. 


We will always remain a locally-run, rustic sanctuary but by increasing the value for visitors, we can attract more people and attention to our cause. While your donations will help keep our elephants in good care, any additional income we may generate from visits will be used on improving the conditions for the elephants even further. For example, we would like to build a canopy walk so guests may observe the elephant’s from the bird's view, seeing their natural behaviours, unaffected by the near presence of humans.

About Our Fundraiser

With the support of businesses in the South-East Asia region, we are able to run this fundraising campaign to raise awareness about our Sanctuary, and the four elephants that we love and want to keep with us desperately. 


Those who wish to support us can do so in the following ways:

♡ Support a one-time donation of any amount

♡ Pledge a monthly donation of any amount

By pledging a monthly donation, we will be able to better sustain our long-term care of the elephants. Regular monthly donations also allow us to prepare and act fast in emergency situations.

Update from November 04 2020
5 months ago

The male elephant enclosure is currently in construction thanks to all of your generous donations! Thank you so much. It is going to be the biggest gift ever to our two beautful boys, they will finally have a chain free safe and peaceful life. 

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First donor
3,097 THB
Su Lynch
Great work Vicki

Top contributor
30,000 THB
Terran Baylor
Always a pleasure to help out animals and missions that are helping us be better to animals. Love the work you've done sister!

94 Donations
2 weeks ago
737 THB
Lisa O Connor
Something small for bananas etc ❤
2 weeks ago
1,000 THB
Thank you Vicki!
Hope this buys a few pineapples for the Ellies. I hope in a covid free future I can come and see them and you in person.
<3 Lauren kitty
3 weeks ago
10,000 THB
1 month ago
5,000 THB
Victoria Hawley
Thank you for all you do for the elephants! <3
1 month ago
3,000 THB
Wendi Stewart
Thank you for caring x
1 month ago
3,000 THB
Heather Wesling
Thank you for caring for the ele's ❤
1 month ago
5,061 THB
Margit Hennig
1 month ago
2,261 THB
Erin Jelley
Love too you all ❣️
1 month ago
5,060 THB
Margit Hennig
1 month ago
1,500 THB
Janine Franco
Thank you for your work with these beautiful elephants

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