What We Do

BLES strives to rescue and protect the elephants of Thailand from abuse and ultimate extinction. We provide a safe home where we focus on individual survival and growth in numbers. BLES allows elephants to interact in a natural environment that encourages breeding. Additionally, we offer support and advice to local elephant owners who may lack sufficient funds to care for their animals. We are deeply committed to our village community and provide jobs and housing to several mahouts and their families. We encourage local participation in BLES activities and promote education about elephants and their plight as well as the environment. To realize its mission, BLES has targeted goals in protection, expansion, and education.

Protection
BLES is on constant alert to investigate any reports concerning elephants in need. Katherine personally travels throughout Thailand in response to abused elephant sightings. She will do whatever is necessary to provide relief to these animals, and when possible, arranges for their retirement to the Sanctuary.

When rescuing an elephant in distress, BLES organizes transportation, communicates with qualified veterinarians, finances medical aid, and provides support to elephant owners. BLES takes full responsibility of a rescue from inception to completion.

Each rescued elephant is partnered with a mahout who is carefully selected to work with that elephant depending upon its rehabilitation needs. The mahouts are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Expansion
As the natural habitat of the Thai elephant is rapidly diminishing, BLES seeks to purchase land as it becomes available near the Sanctuary. We strive to create space for our elephants and recognize their need for variety in diet and exercise.

With a healthy balance of cows and bulls, BLES hopes to welcome more calves conceived by natural, not forced, mating. In September 2008, BLES celebrated the birth of its first calf. It was also the first calf born in the village.

BLES is serious in its intention to support local elephant owners. In Thailand, there are few medical facilities that specialize in elephant husbandry. Those that do exist are located in the northern and southern regions of the country, offering little help to the elephant population of central Thailand. BLES is ideally situated to establish an on-site clinic to remedy this crisis. We plan to host a rotation of trained professionals and veterinary students to support our full-time staff.

Education
When complete, the BLES clinic will offer opportunities for veterinary students to study elephant care and medicine, where such hands-on experience is scarce. We endeavour to provide education on all aspects of the Asian elephant.

Snapshots

  • With a healthy balance of females and males, BLES encourages natural mating.
  • Land conservation benefits the elephants and our community.
  • In 2008 BLES planted over 3000 trees to secure a safe and natural home for the elephants.
  • Newly planted trees on previously deforested acreage.
  • BLES elephants are protected by a dedicated team of skilled mahouts.
  • BLES supports local mahouts to care for their elephants.
  • Elephants interact freely at BLES.
  • Creating a peaceful environment for the elephants is central to the BLES approach.
  • BLES gives land back to the elephants and other indigenous wildlife.
  • Katherine and Anon introduce a new rescue to his adopted family.