A VISIT IN THE SPOTLIGHT
After the park was restored following the rainy season, and in order to help us gain greater visibility, a communications team from the capital came specially for an entire day to take photos and videos of the site, the elephants, the restaurant, the local crafts and, of course, the team.
The sanctuary has undergone quite a few changes since 2020 and we were given the opportunity here to capture all the new features.
It’s true that this season is a bit special, marking the post-Covid recovery and a return to a “new normal”.
Let’s hope it lasts…
Also on the programme for the day: an interview session with our team and an insight into the life and job of a mahout. For some, it was their first time in front of the camera. For others, it was a more familiar experience since the French TF1 documentary.
Mister Saw, for example, Mae Ping and Boua’s mahout, was very comfortable in front of the camera and even allowed himself a few jokes.
On the other hand, Lit, Mae Nat’s mahout, was a little more stressed, and that’s perfectly normal.
These moments reinforce our pride in the team, and in addition to their immense day-to-day achievements, we’re delighted that these stars and their professions are being given greater visibility.
With this new era, whether you’ve already visited and met us or not, come back and (re)discover the Mekong Elephant Park, its projects, its members and its gentle and endearing giants.
KHAM KHOUN IS BACK
Illustration photos, our male has no defences
Our male Kham Khoun is back amongst the herd. For almost 2 months, he has been in ‘musth’, the equivalent of rutting. It’s a time when his testosterone levels are at an all-time high and he’s constantly dripping liquid from his temples. He stops being clean and urinates himself.
During this period, the males become extremely aggressive, going into a state of unconsciousness, and can endanger the lives of other elephants in the park, as well as those of humans. For his own safety and that of the rest of the herd, his mahout Noy Peak takes him away and isolates him in the forest as soon as the first signs appear. Even Damien, our volunteer, hadn’t had the chance to meet him before!
This rut occurs at the same time every year, so in addition to his mahout Noy Peak’s excellent knowledge of Kham Khoun’s behaviour, he can anticipate it and avoid any risk of accident.
A VERY MOVING REUNION
However, the loss of Mae Bounma is still too recent to consider anything at the moment. Fortunately, Singh was happy to see Boua all grown up and is in good health.
Someone very dear to us paid us a visit recently… and what a visit it was! Mr Singh, our late Mae Bounma’s mahout for over 20 years, came to say hello. It was a very emotional moment for all the staff, as Mr Singh reminded us of the good times and also the not-so-good times, which are unfortunately part of life.
We sincerely hope that one day he will return to work at the park.
Mae Bounma will remain forever engraved in our hearts and will keep an immutable place within the Mekong Elephant Park family.
Although the pain of her passing still weighs heavily on us, we find a certain relief in knowing that the last years of her life in the forest among other elephants were happy ones and that she was surrounded by a loving and caring team.
Mae Bounma, we think of you. We love you.
AND WHAT ABOUT OUR
FAMOUS 4 FEMALES?
For Mae Nin and Mae Nat, discovering and learning about the veterinary check-up procedure is going just fine.
They have frequent check-ups to establish not only regular health checks, but also to get used to being handled. In the future, we need to be able to intervene easily if necessary, without creating stress or danger for the elephants and the mahouts. Method used: Rewards with bananas and maize of course.
This month has been important because all the adult elephants have had their tetanus booster.
Before giving them the injection, it’s essential to touch the designated area several times to anticipate the elephant’s reaction, disinfect it with betadine and alcohol and then go ahead with the injection.
Our success? Vaccinating Boua! As the tetanus vaccine is only 1ml, she didn’t even realise or feel the needle going in. She did, however, understand the first stage very well, the brush and betadine trick, and started staring deeply into our eyes with a sign of challenge. It took some trickery, but the result was positive! Not sure that a bigger sting would have gone so well….
WHY NOT SPEND THE NIGHT
AT THE PARK?
No, it’s not just a fantasy. It’s a reality. And we’ve done it! We’ve created a tailor-made 2 Day / 1 Night package to enable you to spend the night on site in the heart of the Pakbeng primary forest, on an elephant territory. In addition to spending many days doing various activities in the company of the pachyderms, you will be accommodated in a comfortable bungalow.
A bathroom and kitchen are just a stone’s throw from your accommodation, so you can share some unique and convivial moments. And let’s not forget Mae Kham, who will be your neighbour during your stay, as your bungalow is right opposite her night enclosure…
So, are you up for the experience?
Would you like to know exactly how this package works?
CHRISTMAS IS COMING ALONG…
ISN’T IT PRESENT TIME?
A useful free gift to support an endangered species
This Christmas, double the joy as you send out free Mekong Elephant Park solidarity greetings cards to your family, friends, or business partners!
These greeting cards are not only a beautiful and fun way to send warm wishes to your loved ones, but also an easy way to help spread the words about the Mekong Elephant Park and our efforts to rescue and rehabilitate the elephants of Laos.