Meet the Team
Our incredibly charming team of elephants is what makes our camp truly special. These gentle giants never fail to make a lasting impression on everyone they meet, with their kindness, curiosity and intelligence. Check out the descriptions below to learn more about the team.
Our jet-setting, supermodel elephant Yuki was sold and shipped to Japan at a very young age – so young that she did not yet have a name. She was named Yuki on arrival – Japanese for “snow” – but the young Yuki wasn’t able to cope with the cold weather in Japan and was soon shipped back home. For the next three years, she worked in the bar strip in Pattaya’s tourist area, taking part in a cabaret show every night until she became too big to perform.
Yuki now enjoys her quiet life in the Golden Triangle, although her superior intellect and inquisitive nature sometimes get her into trouble. She likes to keep her mahout on his toes by eating things she shouldn’t and wandering over to our neighbour’s banana plantations.
PHUANG PHET (HANDFUL OF DIAMONDS)
Phuang Phet – which means “handful of diamonds” – literally walked into our lives when her owners brought her to the local village. She had been living in the back of a truck while her owners sold sugar cane along the streets, until they could no longer afford to keep her. Phuang Phet now lives at the camp and enjoys the never-ending supply of sugar cane with her best friend, Yuki.
BOUNMA (TO BRING MERIT)
Bounma’s name means “to make merit.” Before arriving at the camp, she lived a hard life and was subjected to repeated beatings at the hands of her logging company owners. She still bears the scars of those days, but thanks to a Surin mahout who took her out of the logging camp and onto the streets to be rescued, Bounma now enjoys her days in the Tented Camp. Bounma is a quiet, gentle elephant and a welcome addition to our team.
Thong Kam’s history is largely unknown, but she was probably born in Phrae province where it is likely she worked as a logging elephant. She has been with us for eight years, and enjoys nothing more than spraying guests with water when she’s playing in the river – so be prepared to get wet when Thong Kam is around!
Poonlarp arrived at the Foundation with her daughter, Lynchee. Mother and daughter had been walking the streets of central Thailand after being kicked out of a trekking camp. The 28-year-old Poonlarp showed typical signs of abuse, including the head-bobbing behaviour of highly stressed and anxious elephants in captivity. While hesitant to socialize at first, she has recovered from her physical and psychological scars to become one of our happiest elephants.
Srinuan (Beautiful Girl)
Srinuan was bought by her owner at the age of 3 from the hills around Chiang Mai. She spent her early years working in elephant camps around Kanchanaburi taking part in elephant shows and entertaining tourists. After working for 8 long years in the camp, Srinuan’s owner sort out a better life for his elephant and brought her up to the Golden Triangle. Srinuan is very happy to spend her days with Meena and the other elephants, roaming in the grasslands and bathing in the river.