quick facts
PDF Downloads:pdf_logo
- Volunteer Information Pack
- Elephants in Thailand: a review.
- Meeting the Surin Project in Bangkok

Two Programs for the Elephants:

   - The Volunteers Elephant Program (up to 13 elephants)
   - The Retired Female program (up to 5 elephants)
Surin Elephant Study Center:
- Over 200 elephants in the Centre
- 90% of them are "unemployed"
- Severe food and water shortages for the elephant


The Surin Project is located:
- 450km NE of Bangkok
- 850km SE of Chiang Mai
Cold Season (Dec-Feb : 15C/30C)
Hot Season (March-June : 30C/45C)
Rainy Season (July-Nov : 25C/35C)
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The Surin project is a new and innovative project focussed on finding solutions to the challenges faced by mahouts and their elephants in Surin province in North-Eastern Thailand. It is committed to improving the living conditions of Asian elephants and providing sustainable economic revenue for their mahouts in the local community.
Many elephant owners in Thailand struggle to make a living with their elephants and sadly must resort to taking their elephants to the streets of large cities to beg. By providing an alternative form of employment, we are giving mahouts the opportunity to provide better living conditions and more freedom for their elephants.

The Surin Project is also committed to raising awareness regarding the plight of the Asian elephant and inspiring people worldwide to work together towards finding solutions to these problems. Educating volunteers and mahouts alike will result in a better understanding of the situation and provide them with the tools to make the necessary changes.

With over 300 elephants registered in the province, Surin is the cradle of elephant husbandry in Thailand. Heavy logging and increasing development have left Surin with few forested areas and decreasing work opportunities for mahouts and their elephants and a rapid loss of cultural heritage. By generating economic opportunities in Surin, we are hoping to allow mahouts to regain a semblance of tradional lifestyle.

Thai legislation offers no protection to captive elephants, classifying them as mere livestock. It is our duty therefore to raise the bar in animal welfare and give these elephants a life worth living.

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The Surin Project originated from a cooperation with the Surin Provincial Administrative Organisation which approached us asking us to help them create a world-class elephant sanctuary to provide free ranging opportunities for the 180+ elephants that were present in the Surin Elephant Study Center.

Located in the small village of Baan Tha Klang in Surin province, the Elephant Study Center now subsidises nearly 200 mahouts and their elephants to live in the center and thus stay off the streets of Bangkok. The living conditions of the elephants in the center are far from perfect, with most elephants shackled all day long with little or nothing more to do than to stand in the sun.  It is the role and responsibility of the Surin Project to help improve these living conditions and give these elephants the opportunitiy to roam free and behave naturally. Bringing volunteers to the project for a week or more at a time allows us to work with the mahouts, helping them plant grass, sugarcane and bamboos and build shelters for the elephants all while their elephants are off their chains and interacting together.  It is our hope that by showing the local mahouts that people are willing to come and help them and see elephants in a natural setting, they will be provided with the tools to adapt their husbandry methods to be more considerate of the elephants' welfare.


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