Rescued elephants find peace at BLES
In the forests of northern Thailand, elephants who have suffered abuse in the entertainment can find a safe, peaceful home at Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES).
BLES has rescued 27 elephants since it was founded by Katherine Connor in 2007. Here, their chains are removed and their wounds tended to. They are free to roam across 750 acres of lush forested land, where they can forage in the mature banana plantations, grasslands and open fields.
World Animal Protection is supporting BLES to build two night enclosures at the sanctuary, which will keep the elephants from wandering onto neighbouring private land at night.
The special bond of the ‘gossip girls’
Elephants are naturally social animals. In the wild, they have complex herd and family groups. But many captive elephants are never allowed to socialise and interact freely.
At the sanctuary, however, they form friendships and bond groups – like the three female elephants that have been dubbed the ‘gossip girls’. Wassana, Pang Dow and Lotus have become almost inseparable, choosing to eat, sleep and play together. They are often heard calling and squeaking to each other, especially if there is a bull elephant nearby.
At BLES, the ‘gossip girls’ and the other elephants can just be elephants – a freedom they were denied for years in captivity.
A new role for the mahout
Each elephant is looked after by a mahout who knows exactly how to best care for him or her. Every day Katherine and the mahouts treat the elephants’ wounds and health issues.
They also spend time travelling throughout Thailand, building relationships with other facilities and responding to reports of abused elephants. When they can, they arrange for elephants in need to be brought to the sanctuary.
You can help
You can help to keep the BLES elephants safe in their sanctuary, and rescue other wild animals from lives in entertainment by donating today.