MEET OUR ELEPHANTS & MAHOUTS

Mae Ping (F)

Born: 1997 (Hongsa, Sayaboury)
Date of rescue 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. Mae Ping has a very special charisma, and has always been able to get what she wants.

She is very touching, dynamic, naughty, and sometimes an 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.

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.

Mae Nin (F)

Born: 1990
Date of rescue at the Mekong Elephant Park: August 2023

After living alone away from her family for almost 15 years, Mae Nin was reunited with her family at the sanctuary in July 2023. She had worked for many years in the logging industry to harvest timber alongside her aunt Mae Nat, the last elephant to arrive at the park in January 2023. But that’s not all: it was Mae Nin who partly raised Mae Ping when her mother was sold to China.

She is both Mae Ping’s biological aunt and Mae Nat’s niece! 3 generations of the same family finally reunited, if you can find one you can find them all, they’re together all the time!

Mahout: Chai

From: Houey Kha
Born: 1992

Mister Chai comes from a small Kamu village, Ban Houey Kha, 5 hours walking from Pakbeng. He used to live and work with elephants before, but when the elephant he was looking after passed away he decided he could not work with another elephant.

10 years later he is ready to be around other elephants again, and it’s naturaly that when Mae Nin arrived he agreed to become his mahout. Both of them are young, dynamic and love food, the perfect match !

Mae Nat(F)

Born: 1984
Date of rescue at the Mekong Elephant Park: January 2023

Mae Nat history is one that’s all too common with elephants held in captivity. For many years, she once worked in the loggin industry and later on was living in Japan working in the tourism industry in a circus.

Through a rescue project and thanks to the generosity of our supporters all around the world, Mae Nat has finally joined the Mekong Elephant Park family in January 2023.

Mahout: Lit

From: Ban Thong
Born: 1976

He comes from Ban Thong, it used to be a mahout village. He grew up with elephants around him. ​Lit is very peaceful and quiet, which is the exact same character of Mae Nat, the perfect match. While he is with elephants around him you will always see a smile on his face.

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).

Mae Kham (F)

Born: 1954 (Borthan, Sayaboury)
Date of rescue at the Mekong Elephant Park: 2008

​Mae Kham worked in the logging industry for over 40 years. She has many scars on her head and her ears are torn, all resulting from her difficult past when she was beaten. Being so old means she suffers from arthritis when it rains, nevertheless, it bestowed her the privileged status of matriarch of the herd.

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.

Mahout: Pao

From: Houey Kha
Born: 1993

Pao is our youngest mahout. When Mae Kham’s original mahout retired, we had to find a replacement. Pao is as gentle and calm as her so it was evident that they would get on together. He is now learning how to know her well and how to anticipate her sudden waves of tiredness due to her old age.

Everyday Pao observes the elephants and the other mahouts in order to learn more about them as he had never been next to elephants before. Our mission is also to create new vocations within the new generation of Laotians.

Kham Khoun (M)

Born: 1988 (Hongsa, Sayaboury)
Date of rescue at the Mekong Elephant Park: 2016

​Kham Khoun is a gentle and calm elephant, with a sort of quiet strength, but you have to beware of the sleeping water as it can become aggressive during its musth periods.

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: Pan

From: Ban Thong
Born: 1980

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 Pan, he knows it all.