Helping Elephants in Crisis

Thailand’s captive elephants face decades of privation, forced labor, maltreatment, and other abuse. We are working to change Thai law to protect them and to provide shelter and care for those being rescued today.

Supporting the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand

Your donations have directly enabled the rescue of Som Boom and NamThip. Please contribute today to help us care for these elephants in their new sanctuary haven and to bring other elephants to safety with them.

The Center for a Humane Economy is continuing its ongoing support of this sanctuary. During the COVID shutdown, we funded provisions to feed more than 1,000 tethered, starving elephants. Now, we are zealously supporting the work of Lek Chaillet, founder of the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand and Save Elephant Foundation. We are doing so by providing a new elephant-rescue vehicle, purchasing elephants out of captivity, and acquiring and developing property so that more elephants can live out lives of safety and plenty. Also, our work continues within the Thai government to end the exemption of elephants — classified as “transportation,” not animals — from state welfare laws. This includes pressuring the U.S. government to leverage its trade relationships with Thailand to effect change.

The Challenges

Not only is Thai law an obstacle, so is a pervasive acceptance of elephant riding as part of an entertaining tourist experience. We must educate travelers about the abuse young elephants endure before the first customer mounts a saddle on their back. This includes “crushing” — the practice that breaks the animal’s spirit by isolating them in wooden cages, separating from their mothers, and beating and starving them. The outcome is that they become terrified of humans and will accept whatever their captors force upon them.

Now, with the post-pandemic tourism resurgence, we must be more aggressive to influence Thai law, rescue more elephants from their abusers, and care for the ones who have been brought to safety.


Lek Chaillet, founder of the Thai Elephant Nature Park and Save Elephant Foundation, has been at the center of animal rescues and establishing safe sanctuary for retired and discarded captive elephants for many years. She has created a humane-model sanctuary and endorses and supports other Thailand facilities. She has established a foster program for as many of the unfed elephants as she can afford to support and created a food bank to accept donations of food acceptable to elephants and donations to purchase food.


Read More About Our Campaign

Tourism Without Trophy Hunting

Trophy hunters pursue wildlife in head-hunting gambits, often seeking to kill among the rarest, most majestic creatures throughout the world — including elephants. We want to stop this awful practice of globe-trotting trophy hunting. Wildlife tourism is immensely larger than trophy hunting when it comes to numbers of participants and total revenues, yet some countries try to have both — even though trophy hunting undermines tourism by shrinking the number of animals and making survivors warier.

Actions to Take


Your donation will fund the purchase of elephants from their abuses and support their shelter, food, and veterinary care.