Elephants in Laos and throughout Asia are in an alarming state. Many organizations and individuals are working hard every day to bring this animal life they deserve.
MandaLao Camp offers visitors a different experience than the typical elephant camps in Laos and Thailand.
Full information about: MandaLao – a sweet home for elephant village in Laos
Do not ride elephants. No circus performance. Not a dancing elephant. Visitors to MandaLao simply see huge animals splashing water on the river, grasping the lawn, and snacking on the forest canopy.
"Tourists often ask us about the 'sanctuaries' in Asia," said Jason Baker, vice president for international campaigns at the Animal Welfare Foundation. "I told them that the best elephant sanctuaries would be pretty boring to humans, because they would just walk around and live the life of an elephant."
The "Elephant Trunk" now has only 800 elephants. The number of elephants in Laos has plummeted by more than 75% in the past 30 years.
"Elephants are very important to the Lao people, but they are getting smaller, there are children who have not even seen elephants," said Michael Vogler, co-founder of the MandaLao elephant camp in 2016, told CNN. . "A lot of people do not realize the level of despair of the situation."
Situated on the banks of the Nam Khan River in northern Laos, the 80-hectare MandaLao Camp, with shady spaces, forests, creeks and veterinary facilities.
"People focus on training elephants to entertain people, we do not," Vogler said.
Visitors to MandaLao can walk around the forest with elephants - not elephants - and bring food to encourage them to go all the way.
MandaLao is home to six mature elephants and an 18-month-old elephant. They are all rescued from the logging industry.
"They have individuality and character." As with Kitty, sometimes we have to try two or three different things to see what he wants to eat, "Vogler said. "It will not eat sugar cane unless it has been peeled, it is too spoiled."
Vogler said that if everything went according to plan, the kit would not live at MandaLao. The camp management is working with a national park to bring back the wildlife.