Tong Bai Elephant Foundation
The Tong Bai Elephant Foundation is a non- profit organization and was founded to provide good living and working conditions for Thailand’s working elephants and their owners.
Across the world elephants are worshipped and held in high esteem. Mostly, man and elephant work side by side in a relationship of mutual respect and benefit. Unfortunately, sometimes this relationship is disturbed, and in these cases the Tong Bai Foundation aims to provide good living and working conditions for elephants who are too young or too old, as well as their owners.
The Tong Bai Foundation rents elephants from these age groups to ease the financial pressure on their owners, so that the elephants do not have to perform labour unsuitable for their state of health and age. To achieve this the Tong Bai Foundation works in close cooperation with the commercial enterprise Elephant Special Tours. Our elephants live in our camp or are integrated into the herd of Elephant Special Tours without any commercial interest. Our elephants do not necessarily have to earn their living but can be occupied according to their skills and condition. It is important to understand that a trained working elephant needs to be occupied. Therefore we feel confident that a healthy mix of daily work and extensive periods of rest will mostly satisfy both the mental and physical requirements of our elephants. Young elephants can enjoy an extended childhood with us in order to fully develop, both mentally and physically. When they reach the appropriate age they will be introduced to a daily working routine in a kind and playful way.
The Tong Bai Elephant Foundation relies entirely on donations. All funds are used solely for the elephants and their care. The support provided through our close cooperation with Elephant Special Tours enables us to implement our set goal effectively: to lead the elephant into a secure and healthy future.
The Tong Bai Foundation is named after our bull elephant Tong Bai. In March 2010, he died at the age of 25 when in a severe thunder storm one of the many lightning bolts struck a tree that was very close to him. Panicking, he ran through the forest and tripped, resulting in a fatal fall down a slope. He will always have a place in our hearts. In his name and memory the Tong Bai Foundation is committed to providing good living and working conditions for Thailand’s working elephants and their owners.
Click here on one of Green Trails Thailand’s tours including the Tong Bai Foundation: