Pattaya Elephant Sanctuary

Our Story

At Pattaya Elephant Sanctuary our goal is to provide a caring home for elephants where they can live as naturally as possible and are respected by guests. We adhere to an ethical model, which means no chains or bullhooks, no riding or performances, and limited interaction with people. This allows the elephants to express their natural behaviours, including foraging in the jungle, interacting with each other, playing in the mud, and bathing in the pool. We encourage other elephant owners to adopt this compassionate approach to elephant tourism for the benefit of the elephants and to provide visitors with a more gratifying, authentic experience.

The elephants now living at Pattaya Elephant Sanctuary previously endured much hardship in their lives. They were forced to perform in shows and be used for elephant riding, or were taken to the streets to beg for food. It gives us great happiness to provide a safe home for our herd where they can live free from work, and finally, just be elephants.

Elephants are highly intelligent, empathic animals with a complex social structure based around supporting the needs of the herd. At our sanctuary, the two mature female elephants, Thangthai and Somkid provide emotional support in their role as nanny to Frank. They enjoy each other’s company throughout the day while taking mud baths together, playing in the pool, or foraging while wandering the sanctuary.

Who Are We

We are a new elephant sanctuary in Pattaya providing a caring home in nature for a small herd of rescued elephants.

Our Work

 To make sure that the experience at our sanctuary for both our elephants and for our guests is a happy one.

Our Goal

To secure more land and rescue more elephants to join our herd with the support of kindhearted visitors to our sanctuary.

Inspired by Saengduean Lek Chailert

This project was inspired by Saengduean ‘Lek’ Chailert – world renowned elephant conservationist and founder of Save Elephant Foundation and Elephant Nature Park. Lek has devoted her life to protecting and improving the lives of elephants throughout Asia. In 2018, Lek created Asian Elephant Projects to support and promote ethical elephant tourism in the region. The Saddle Off model seeks to provide a better life for elephants in nature where they can interact as a herd, roam, and forage.
Lek Chailert
Pattaya Elephant Sanctuary jungle habitat

Project Background

Renu was born in Surin province, Thailand where the largest population of captive elephants is found. She has lived with elephants all of her life and learned about their ways and how to care for them from her elders. Her family has worked with elephants for generations, including the early days of the thriving logging industry. When logging was banned in 1989, the family was at a loss as to how to make enough money to feed the elephants and care for their family’s needs. They took their elephants to the streets to beg, selling fruit to make ends meet. This was not the life she wanted for the elephants and she worried about the stress it put them under. Then one day she met Lek Chailert of Save Elephant Foundation, who opened her eyes to a new possibility – ethical elephant tourism. Renu and her family began investing money and time in building the elephant sanctuary in Pattaya, which was finished in early 2019. She rescued three elephants and brought them to the 7.5 acre jungle sanctuary to live a better life in nature, where people could visit them respectfully and learn about these majestic giants. Renu hopes to be able to rescue more elephants to join the herd in the future.

Green Steps Award

In November 2023, Pattaya Elephant Sanctuary  was honored to receive the Green Steps Award at the Responsible Thailand Awards 2023. The award was presented to our founder, Renu, at the World Travel Mart in London. The Responsible Thailand Award judges said, “Renu’s courage and will to protect abused elephants has led to this wonderful and necessary sanctuary that shows a better way to treat elephants in the name of tourism. There isn’t a more deserving initiative to win this award – she’s an inspiration to us all.”

Why Choose Us?

By choosing Pattaya Elephant Sanctuary, you are supporting an ethical elephant sanctuary where these remarkable animals can finally enjoy a life worth living.

Many people visiting Asia are unaware of the suffering caused by elephant riding, street begging, and being forced to perform demeaning tricks. By visiting our sanctuary, you are making it possible for these elephants to experience a better, more natural life. If we receive enough support, we hope to rescue more elephants to come and live at our sanctuary.

You are also showing that people prefer to see happy elephants living in a natural environment where they are able to freely express their inherent instincts.

As our guests, you will be warmly welcomed at the sanctuary where we hope you will have a wonderful, unforgettable experience.

Spend Time with Our Herd

Support the ethical treatment of elephants on your next vacation to Thailand & visit Pattaya Elephant Sanctuary