In The Media

Explore all of our exciting news that has appeared in the media.

LOVE ELEPHANTS? DON’T RIDE THEM

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Surat Thani, THAILAND –  In the wild, elephants don’t balance on stools, perform headstands or play football. They live together, in family herds. But in the elephant riding tourism industry, baby elephants’ lives begin by being ripped away from their mothers. They live out their next 3-9 days of life in a cage where standing is scarcely achievable. In this time, they are starved, sleep-deprived and beaten with bullhooks until they subdue to their abusers.

SAFE HAVEN

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Baby boy elephant Haven Moonlight was born under the last full moon of the decade on Friday 13th December 2019. Even before he arrived at the Haven, the little elephant had quite a journey.

SAMUI ELEPHANT HAVEN NAMED A LITTLE BABY BOY ELEPHANT

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After months of deliberations and discussions, Samui Elephant Haven named a little boy-elephant today! Even before he arrived at the Haven, the little chap had quite a journey. Somboon, his beautifully calm mother walked from one side of Koh Samui to the other to be greeted by a magnificent herd of elephants with trumpets, entwining trunks, and a memorable reunion with her daughter.

SAMUI ELEPHANT HAVEN: AN ETHICAL DAY WITH HAPPY ELEPHANTS

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Can we talk about the elephant in the room? You’re planning your Thailand vacation and getting stoked for beautiful beaches and cheap massages. You’ve likely seen photos of smiling tourists in brochures (or maybe even on your friend’s Instagram) riding elephants in Thailand or bathing them in a river. Heck… on my first trip to Thailand, I was one of those tourists. I thought I was doing the “ethical” thing by choosing a company that promoted bareback riding as a kind option. But when we know better, we have to do better. And when it comes to elephant tourism… we know better now. There’s no such thing as an ethical elephant riding experience. I visited Samui Elephant Haven, the largest ethical elephant sanctuary on Koh Samui, and can honestly say I had a more meaningful experience with the elephants at the sanctuary because I didn’t go for a ride.

KOH SAMUI TO BANGKOK

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Another highlight of the trip was our visit to the Samui Elephant Haven, the only animal attraction on the island promoted by Tongsai Bay. Thailand is infamous for its elephant tourism, but all of the elephants at the sanctuary have been rescued from captivity and abuse.

ART IN MIND PRESENT AN EXTRAORDINARY EXHIBITION

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Samui Elephant Haven embraces local children’s talent from the remarkable Art in Mind Art School and Garden. Patcharin Chuanlakorn, fondly known as Gae heads up the beautiful after-school artists club where she helps her students develop their natural artistic talents. Her students range from three to 16 years old.

VISITING A TRUE ELEPHANT SANCTUARY

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It’s time to address the elephant in the room. And yes, that was lame but after all this blog is called The Midnight Blue Elephant, so I won’t apologize for it and it’s important. It seems that some people still haven’t realized that elephant riding is bad.

TWO ELEPHANTS AND AN UNBORN CALF

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Saturday 18 May was a historic day for southern Thailand.  Two Asian elephants took to the highway for one last long and arduous walk, from the south to the north of Koh Samui Island.

ETHICALLY INTERACTING WITH ELEPHANTS

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Interacting with elephants is a signature experience of visiting Asia. What most tourists don’t realize, though, is that every single elephant who gives rides, paints pictures or performs in a show has been physically and emotionally abused in ways you can never unsee once you’ve been shown.

CHOOSING LOVE OVER MONEY

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At the age of seven, some 30 years ago, Maew Suriya, the founder of Samui Elephant Haven’s parents moved from Surin Province to run a circus.  Even from this young age, it was Maew’s dream to create a sanctuary for elephants – a real haven for them to live out their lives happily and roaming free.

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