Animal lovers generally have a tough time finding authentic and ethical means of animal interaction while traveling the globe, especially since past activities revolving around animal interaction have now been deemed too harmful to the animals’ safety. But a newly-opened elephant sanctuary in Thailand seems to be resolving this issue.
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is only 30 acres, but it allows elephants that have been used for entertainment and labor the chance to live out the rest of their lives in quietness and comfort. They’re free to do as they please during the day and then reside in shelters during the night.
Since the animals are quite accustomed to humans, the reserve offers guests the chance to come and interact with them at no risk to the elephants or visitors. The attraction has drawn quite a large amount of attention and tourism, including some celebrities!
VISITOR FEATURE: AARON PAUL – HOLLYWOOD MOVIE STAR VISITS PHUKET ELEPHANT SANCTUARY We have been very busy rescuing our latest two elephants this week but we were also very privileged to welcome top Hollywood movie star Aaron Paul and his beautiful wife Lauren to Phuket Elephant Sanctuary. Lauren was celebrating her 30th birthday, and along with their many fabulous friends who had all flown in from LA, Aaron had surprised Lauren with a beautiful holiday in Phuket. Aaron is best known for his role as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad, and many movies including Need for Speed, Fathers and Daughters, and his latest movie Come And Find Me. Aaron had researched ethical elephant tourism as Lauren absolutely loves elephants and only wanted to visit and support a true ethical elephant sanctuary. They spent the most wonderful morning with Kannika and Madee saying it was a dream come true to see happy elephants in their natural habitat. We are truly thankful to Aaron, Lauren and all their friends for supporting us and for placing a spotlight on ethical elephant tourism and our work to help the elephants here at Phuket Elephant Sanctuary in Southern Thailand. @glassofwhiskey #aaronpaul #laurenpaul8 #breakingbad #needforspeed #comeandfindme #jedidiahjenkins #lachrispaul #PhuketElephantSanctuary #PES #EthicalTourism #Phuket #Thailand #Elephants #ForTheLoveOfElephants #MadeeElephant #KannikaElephant
The reserve was founded by British philanthropist and fashion executive Louise Rogerson in 2015 after she spent several years working with elephants in Thailand. By August the following year, the sanctuary had its first residents – including a 60-year-old female which had been working for a logging camp.
“Elephants are emotional animals, they feel happiness, sadness and show love, and here we allow them to be themselves again, unafraid,” says Louise Rogerson. “What is lovely about what we’re doing here is we have had children come and watch elephants playing in water and not riding them in a show. We need the next generation to understand the importance of compassion to animals.”
Another part of the sanctuary’s purpose is educating guests about the cruelty that elephants suffer in various parts of the country. A half-day visit costs 3,000 baht (about $87) for adults, and 1,500 baht ($44) for kids.