Meet Our Elephant & Mahout

Mae Boun Ma (F)

Born: 1990 (Hongsa, Sayaboury)
Date of arrival at the Mekong Elephant Park: January 2019

Mae Boun Ma was an elephant displayed on the side of the road, inactive and not taken care of, whilst her owners were trying to sell her. She has a lot of permanent damage to her trunk and tail, due to the fact that her mother stepped on them when she was younger.

She is now happily living with our other elephants. She loves water, enjoys going underwater, and enjoys taking dust baths too.

Mahout: Singh

From: Hong Sa
Born: 1975

Singh comes from Ban Thong, it used to be a mahout village. He grew up with elephants around him. He has been taking care of Mae Bounma for more than 20 years and transmit his knowledge to his son to look after her one day. The bound between Mae Bounma and Singh is very strong and she will always be looking in his bag for some fruits.

He has very strong values and always wants the best for his elephant (even if he needs to walk for two hours to find what she likes).

Kham Khoun (M)

Born: 1990 (Hongsa, Sayaboury)
Date of arrival at the Mekong Elephant Park: 2016

​Kham Khoun is a gentle and calm elephant, with a sort of quiet strength.

Kham Khoun arrived by truck in 2016 from the village of Ban Bimi. Since his birth, his owner has been the father of Noypeak. Noypeak has known him since he was a child and they have never been separated. He worked a few years as part of the logging industry. Kham Khoun is a stocky and powerful elephant. He has a piece of his trunk missing since he was 4 years old. He has since learned to live and feed himself despite this handicap.

Chief Mahout: Noypeak

From: Ban Beemee
Born: 1967


Noy Peak is our most knowledgeable Mahout here. He comes from Ban Beemee, in north Laos, a village where each family used to have an elephant. He is Lao Leu, a tribe who have looked after elephants for decades. He is the mahout of Kham Khoun, they have been together for 30 years. This is Kham Khoun’s age. From birth they have been together ever since. Except Kong, nobody else can look after Kham Khoun.
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He has been in contact with elephants since his early days as his father and grandfather were the owners of several elephants. Since he was a teenager, he has acquired a strong experience with elephants. It is for this reason that he is also the pedagogical leader of all the other mahouts. Mr Noypeak is serious and acts professional in any kind of situation.

Mahout: Kong Kham

From: Ban Beemee
Born: 1984

As Noy Peak, he comes from Ban Beemee, a Lao Leu village where each family used to have an elephant. He is the second mahout of our male, Kham Khoun. He is also the replacing mahout of the other elephants when their mahouts are away. He is the only one beside NoyPeak who can switch elephant.

Since his family always had elephants, he always grew up with elephants around him and learnt how to understand them right from his early days. If you have any questions regarding the forest, ask Kong, he knows it all.

Mae Kham (F)

Born: 1964 (Borthan, Sayaboury)
Date of arrival at the Mekong Elephant Park: 2008

​Mae Kham worked in the logging industry for over 20 years. She has many scars on her head and her ears are torn, all resulting from her difficult past when she was beaten.

Now enjoying her life at the Mekong Elephant Park,  she is very calm, sweet, and kind. She is not fond of water and often prefers taking dust baths. She has a very strong relationship with Mae Ping, and she can be very sad if not seeing Mae Ping all day.

Mahout: Seung

From: Mok Kan
Born: 1998

Seung is our youngest mahout. When Mae Kham’s original mahout retired, we had to find replacement. Seung was at this time a gardener at the Park and had been for many years. He knew Mae Kham extremely well and is as gentle and calm as her so it was evident that they would get on together.
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Because he knows her well, he anticipates her sudden waves of tiredness due to her old age. Everyday Seung observes with pasison the elephants and the other mahouts in order to learn more about them. Our mission is also to create new vocations within the new generation of Laotians.

Mae Ping (F)

Born: 1999 (Hongsa, Sayaboury)
Date of arrival at the Mekong Elephant Park: 2009

Mae Ping arrived in her early years at the park and was therefore lucky not to work in the logging industry. Her power and character has only been harnessed through tenderness.

In 2009, she arrived at the park with her mother from Hongsa, after walking in the forest for 3 days and 2 nights. Her mother stayed with her for seven months, to ensure a smooth change of life. Since then, she has transferred her need for maternal affection to another female elephant, Mae Kham.  She is closely monitored as to enter a reproduction program, in the hope of creating new elephant generations that help preserving the species.

She is very touching, dynamic, naughty, and sometimes un undisciplined elephant. All that gives her a very special charm.

Mahout: Saw

From: Ban Houay Xeng
Born: 1981

Saw comes from a Kamu village, Ban Houay Xeng, 10km away from Pakbeng whose family has no tradition of mahouts in the family line. He worked in a sawmill when he was 16 and could see elephants coming to pick up wood every day. He arrived at the Mekong Elephant Park in 2012 where he developed a very strong relationship with Mae Ping and trained on how to become a mahout with the others mahouts. Today the bond between them is one of the stronger of the park.
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We often say that the mahout character is similar to the elephant character. Well indeed, it could not nearer to the truth for them both as they share a very playful character. Mr Saw is a cheerful and kind person, always caring for visitor’s and Mae Ping’s safety.