Dow, which in Thai, translates into ‘Star’. Dow’s life has been devoid of any star-like qualities. At 50 years old, and for all her working life, she has been in the logging and trekking industries, used to haul massive trees or carry tourists for endless miles. The physical toll on Dow has been tremendous; she was blinded in one eye and walks with a limp from a horrific logging injury. Dow’s story, as with many other elephants is full of sadness and pain.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down elephant trekking camps across Thailand due to the loss of tourist income. As her owner has no money, Dow came to Samui Elephant Haven: she simply had nowhere else to go. Samui Elephant Haven will provide shelter to Dow for as long as they can. Allowing her the opportunity to heal her emotional and physical wounds and reunite with her elephant friends and family.

Dow Samui Elephant Hven

Sadly Dow will have to return to trekking when tourists come back to Thailand. As Dow heals, she will, for the first time in decades, have the chance to understand kindness and to mix with companion elephants and be an elephant, rather than a machine.


When tourists return, her owner will want her back; unless Samui Elephant Haven can keep her, all the healing on this grand old female will be undone. What she might go back to simply doesn’t bear thinking about.


For more information on how all of the elephants at Samui Elephant Haven can be supported, please email Anyone can help by purchasing items from the shop

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