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Helping travellers identify truly elephant-friendly venues Don't be fooled by the name, a venue may call itself a sanctuary, rescue centre or retirement home for elephants, but don't assume this means it's offering them higher welfare. Look before you book and make sure the venue you visit really has the best interest of elephants at its heart.
World Animal Protection, a global organisation committed to stopping the sale and promotion of elephant entertainment, including gruelling rides and shows, first met Mr. Charae “Ray” Sangkaow in 2017. Ray’s determination to transform his business into a sustainable, elephant-friendly venue was immediately evident. Now, World Animal Protection is helping Ray achieve his dream of creating a peaceful environment, as close to the wild as possible, for these elephants; while visitors observe the herd graze, bathe and socialise freely and naturally. Be an elephant hero - visit Following Giants and help build a better future for elephants.
In southern Thailand, it is common for elephants to work in riding camps during the tourist high season, and be used for strenuous logging work in low season. As an alternative to riding and logging, Ray began educating visitors about mahout culture and elephant behavior. Positive feedback inspired him to wonder if his venue could function solely with these programs, but the tourist demand for riding was still the only consistently profitable option at the time. In 2017, Ray met World Animal Protection and began the transition towards an elephant-friendly business model.
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