Save Elephant Foundation Rescues Two Elephants in Cambodia

Captive elephants taken to freedom at Elephant Sanctuary Cambodia

SIEM REAP, Cambodia – February 12, 2013 – Two captive Asian elephants in Cambodia now have a new home … and a new lease on life thanks to Save Elephant Foundation (SEF).

Kham Lin and Arun Reah (formerly Etuk) were rescued during the early morning hours on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 and driven across Cambodia and delivered to freedom at SEF’s Elephant Sanctuary Cambodia (ESC) at the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS).

The two female elephants were former captive working elephants in the Ratanakiri Prvoince and were discovered by SEF in mid-December 2012. After visiting the elephants and owners, and reviewing paperwork to ensure they were not captured from the wild, SEF was able to purchase these elephants and bring them to their new project.

“I have dreamed of having elephants at Elephant Sanctuary Cambodia since we began work on the project two years ago,” said Sangduen “Lek” Chailert, founder of SEF. “To be able to witness these two overworked elephants walk off of the trucks and into the jungle was a wonderful moment. I look forward to being able to help these two girls live the rest of their lives without ever having to work again.”

The rescue of these two elephants was made possible by a donation from Lorne and Christine Thomson.

About Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary:CWS is a tax exempt US 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Sanctuary is working in partnership with a Cambodian conservation organization and founded by Sok Hong and David Casselman. Both entities are committed to the protection of the unique and precious habitat and animals of Cambodia. CWS seeks to preserve and provide a natural environment for abandoned, endangered and abused animals of this region, and to bring attention and appreciation to the habitat, wildlife, and people of the Kingdom of Cambodia. For additional information about the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary, please, Facebook:, and Twitter: @CambodiaWS.

About Elephant Sanctuary Cambodia: Siem Reap, Cambodia is perhaps best known for the historical Angkor Wat. However, with the opening of ESC, the city will have another attraction to boast.

ESC, located approximately 100 kilometers from Angkor Wat, is a partnership between the Cambodian government, SEF and the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary. The aim of the project is to serve as a sanctuary for the endangered Asian elephant. In addition, ESC also serves as a home to other rescued animals, has an active reforestation program to replenish the the previously logged jungle, and works to educate and empower local communities and encourage volunteer tourism to travelers.

“Right now, our main goal is to plant more than 1 million trees to make up for the vast amounts of logging which has taken place,” said Chailert.

Situated on more than 25,000 acres, ESC’s land has seen a lot. Originally a forest, during the Cambodian-Vietnam war, it was greatly damaged. Later, the military moved in. Now, between 4,000 and 6,000 trees are logged , leaving the remnants of trees littering the jungle floor.

Similar to SEF’s Elephant Nature Park model in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the organization will help boost the local village economies by employing them at ESC, as well as work to educate them on conservation. Plans also include the construction of a school for the village’s children.

“We hope to give locals a better quality of life and to teach them there are other options to make money than by logging,” said Chailert.

ESC is currently accepting volunteers to help plant and register trees, as well as map the property. Volunteer positions run every Monday through Sunday and include either transportation from Elephant Nature Park, Bangkok or Siem Reap. The project is in need of volunteers to help change the history of Cambodia.

For more information about ESC, please visit

About Save Elephant Foundation: A Thai non-profit organization, Save Elephant Foundation is dedicated to providing care and assistance to Thailand’s captive elephant population. It operates through a multifaceted approach, which involves local community outreach, rescue and rehabilitation programs and educational ecotourism operations. Its projects include: Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary for more than 30 elephants, which is consistently ranked as one of Chiang Mai’s top attractions by Trip Advisor; Journey to Freedom; Surin Project; Jumbo Express; Elephant Haven; and more. For additional information about Save Elephant Foundation and its many projects, please visit:, 
and Twitter: @save_elephant.





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3 Responses so far.

  1. rocio garcia says:

    i would like to spend one day with elephants. see how you take care of them. i have been in chang mai and i couldn’t. could you please tell me if it is possible?

  2. Deborah Disney says:

    I have heard you have a program where people can come and stay there and observe the elephants .Is this true I would love to come in March 2014 ,how would i go about doing this ?

    • Hi Deborah, We have many options for visiting us. You can stay for the day, overnight, a couple of nights, or volunteer with us. Take a look at the different programs on our Web site, and then you can book directly from our site. I would suggest booking sooner than later, as volunteer positions particularly fill up rather quickly.

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