During our Elephant Experience you will get close to and experience hands on these magnificent animals, interact with them and learn the secrets of their mahouts. You must prepare and feed them one of their daily meals, scrub and clean and watch them bathe. Feed them their dietary supplements that help with digestion and overall well being and plant some of their food which will be ready for next year’s crop, you will not sit on or trek with our Elephants. Our trained guides will also offer information on Elephants, their conservation and also about their handlers or Mahouts. Truly a once in a lifetime chance to experience the Asian Elephant, the largest land animal in this part of the world.
We look forward to welcoming you to Elephant Hills and hope you have a wonderful experience with us here in southern Thailand!
Thailand currently has around 3 thousand Asian Elephants (down from 100,000 individual Elephants at the turn of the last century) with a total world population put at between 40 – 47,000. Research also puts this number as declining at around 3 % per year.
Elephants are extremely important to Thailand and its society. They are greatly respected and at one point were even on the National Flag of Siam. The domestic population of Thailand’s Elephants currently numbers around 2000. These animals have traditionally been used in the logging industry and the Thai population has worked with Elephants for centuries, even using them to plough rice fields instead of buffalo.
So why do we have this number of Elephants in captivity in Thailand? Well, for centuries Elephants have been used to haul timber in its lucrative logging industry. Then in 1989, due to public pressure there was a logging ban in Thailand. This was fantastic, it meant that domestic Elephants were not used to cut down their own forests, many new national parks were established and the beginning of forest conservation in Thailand truly began. Unfortunately the damage was already done, from being a country covered almost 80% in forest only 15% remained. Not enough for the whole population of Elephants to live. Then came the dilemma, as an owner of an elephant that was working in the logging industry, what did you do with your domestic Elephant if it is not working for you? Many did not have the answer so unfortunately a life of illegal logging, begging or malnourishment awaited many.
Today, we are happy to say that tourism offers a sustainable life for the domestic Elephants of Thailand. If run well and the animals cared for properly it offers a sustainable income for both Elephant and Mahout (Elephant handler). We believe that this type of tourism will bring this amazing species into the next century.
We at Khaosok.com are proud to give you the chance you to get close to these majestic animals. We would also like to offer you the chance to experience how unique these animals really are and understand a little of their situation in Thailand.
We hope you enjoy your stay at Khao Sok and welcome you to experience the largest land animal in south east Asia!!!