Our mission is to educate those whose love for animals and desire to be close can lead to unseen cruelty. We support multiple on-the-ground organizations that rescue elephants from abuse. We support projects that strive to reduce human-elephant conflict where it exists, as well as other animal welfare organizations whose goal is to improve the lives of animals. Support is provided through volunteerism, fundraising, education, and advocacy.
Save Elephant Foundation is a Thai non–profit organization dedicated to providing care and assistance to Thailand’s captive elephant population through a multifaceted approach involving local community outreach, rescue and rehabilitation programs, and educational, ecotourism operations.
Global Sanctuary for Elephants exists to create vast safe spaces for captive elephants, where they are able to heal physically and emotionally. One of the projects, Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, rescues elephants in South America from captivity in circuses and zoos.
We support several projects that help not only elephants but also other animals in need.
Rescue of MohLoh and LekLek
Following the Stews 4 Elephants Volunteer Week at Elephant Nature Park in February 2023, Lek informed S4E about a 20 year-old mother and 3 year-old daughter in Om Koi who needed to be rescued. The owners had reached out to Lek and wanted to give Lek the first opportunity to buy the elephants. If Lek couldn't come up with the money within days, the pair would be separated forever. The mother, Moh Loh, would go back into the cruel world of logging, and the baby, LekLek, would have to go thru the phajaan and be trained for the tourist industry.
We couldn’t let that happen. S4E went into overdrive and was able to raise our share of the money, $18,000, in less than a week. With our contribution, funds committed by long-time ENP supporter, Gertrude Andraschko, and other donations secured by Save Elephant Foundation, S4E President, Robyn and other rescuers were off to Om Koi to bring these girls home.
After arriving in Om Koi, we saw the elephants for the first time. Neither were happy. Moh Loh was chained, and baby LekLek wasn't allowed to wander far. The vets checked their health and for the required microchip to prove their identity. All checked out. The group of rescuers stayed the night in Om Koi and prayed that the elephants would go onto the truck easily.
The next morning after breakfast, we got word that Lek Lek had gotten onto the truck almost immediately and mother Moh Loh quickly followed her — prayers answered! Although this was the first time for both on a truck, the hard part was over.
After paying the owners for the elephants, we were off. The first three hours of the 12- hour journey were the hardest. The roads were mountainous and curvy with steep drop-offs on the sides of the narrow roads. Because neither elephant had ever been on a truck, we feared that the elephants would panic. During this dangerous drive, we had to keep stopping as LekLek was suffering from motion sickness. Although, both elephants were scared and unsure what was happening, Moh Loh was incredible. She kept reassuring her baby, keeping her trunk wrapped around LekLek during the entire 12-hour journey back to Elephant Nature Park She didn't know what to expect, but she kept her baby calm.
We arrived to ENP around 9 p.m., twelve hours after our journey began. Both elephants were happy to be off the truck, as were we. Moh Loh's bell was cut off, their favorite snacks given and Moh Loh and LekLek met the new mahouts. They began their period of quarantine.
Now that both elephants have been cleared medically, they are allowed to meet the other elephants. As of right now, a nanny for LekLek hasn't been chosen, but the interview process is still ongoing. Both girls have settled into life at ENP, meeting the other residents and learning a new way of life. They will never be separated. LekLek will never go thru the phajaan, and Moh Loh will never pull another log. Both will live their lives at ENP being elephants and making their own decisions-- a privilege few captive elephants will ever have.
S4E is incredibly proud to have been a part of this journey. Thank you to all who helped make this happen!