Samui Elephant Sanctuary

2/8 Moo 6
Bophut Koh Samui
Surat Thani 84329


Tel: (+66) 095 269 8343


TAT License No: 34/01873

© Samui Elephant Sanctuary 2019 | All Rights Reserved


Kham San


Kham San is a female elephant, born around 1967 in Surin, Northeast Thailand. She was initially used in the logging industry until the government ban in 1989. Kham San then followed the treacherous movement of life after logging into a life of trekking, providing numerous exhausting rides every day for tourists. In 2002, she was moved to Koh Samui where she continued to be used to provide rides to tourists.

Kham San was rescued and brought to our sanctuary on Thursday 28th December 2017. She now spends her days adjusting to her new life where she never has to worry about being forced to work again. Instead, she is provided with the rehabilitation she   needs and the more natural life she so deserves.

Kham San can be recognized by the hole in her right ear, which was inflicted upon her by the previous mahout as a means to control her.

Cartoon (San Kham)

Cartoon (San Kham), a female elephant, is a much loved member of our herd. She was born around 1962 in Surin in the northeast of Thailand. Cartoon was first used in the logging industry, until this was finally banned by the Government in 1989. She was then forced into the tourism industry where life consisted of providing grueling rides for tourists in the heat, hour after hour, day after day.

Cartoon was brought to Koh Samui around 2002 and continued providing tourist rides until she was rescued to live at our sanctuary on Monday 1st January 2018, joining our happy herd.


She now spends her days roaming happily throughout the sanctuary. Her favourite activities are foraging for food and socialising with the herd as she embraces her new life, surrounded by nature and treated with love and respect.  She is safe for the rest of her life, which happily, is now a dignified one.

Mae Kham Pang

Mae Kham Pang is a female elephant born around 1963 in Chiang Mai Province in the north of Thailand. Initially, she was put to work in the logging industry then her owner moved her to the tourist industry to give rides to tourists. For over five decades, Mae Kham Pang’s life revolved around providing rides to as many guests as possible each day to earn her keep at the trekking camp. She was then moved from the north of Thailand to Pattaya, where there was a high demand among tourists to ride an elephant and watch them perform. 

On Friday, July 20, 2018, we heard Mae Kham Pang's story and talked to the owner to negotiate her release. Following successful negotiations, we rescued Mae Kham Pang so that she could join the herd at Samui Elephant Sanctuary a week later.

Mae Kham Pang loves to eat and we are ensuring she has a large variety of nutritious food to devour. Based on her eating patterns and overall condition, it is likely that before being rescued, food was not readily available for her.

Mae Kham Pang still carries injuries to her feet, and her nails are permanently damaged as a result of having to carry tourists up the mountain multiple times every day. She also has an injury to her tail, which is extremely short. The cause of this remain unclear. Welcome to your loving forever home Mae Kham Pang!

Khum Phean

Khum Phean was born in 1958 in Tak province in Western Thailand. Her life followed the course of most captive elephants, initially working in the logging industry and then providing rides to tourists every day for about 30 years in Pattaya.

She was rescued and brought to Samui Elephant Sanctuary on 27th June, 2018. She loves to play in the mud pit and scratch herself against the trees. At the trekking camp, she was kept on a short chain in-between providing rides to tourists in what must have seemed like an endless cycle. At our sanctuary, for the first time, she has been afforded the freedom to exhibit natural behaviours. Every night, when she returns to her chain free night shelter, she lays down to sleep and we can only imagine how good it must feel for her to be free of chains.

Khum Phean prefers to spend her time alone from the herd, but we hope that in time she will find a friend here.

Kaew Ta

Kaew Ta was born in 1963 in Surin Province in the northeast of Thailand. Her early life was spent labouring in the logging industry under grueling conditions . In 1989, the logging ban was implemented in Thailand and elephant owners looked for an alternative source of income.  

It was at this point that Kaew Ta was moved by her owner to service tourists with rides at a trekking camp. Approximately 20 years ago, Kaew Ta was moved to Koh Samui where her life of drudgery continued; chained to a tree until a guest arrived to ride her round the same route each time.

Kaew Ta is blind in her left eye as a result of failing to follow a command given by her mahout. He brutally punished her by striking her directly in the eye with a sharp object.

As a result of not receiving adequate food, Kaew Ta arrived at Samui Elephant Sanctuary on 13th June, 2018 extremely malnourished and exhausted. 

Despite all the adversity she has faced in her life before coming to the sanctuary she is very friendly towards people but at the moment prefers to stay alone away from the rest of the herd. She loves to play in the pool and the mud pit, basic rights that have been denied to her for decades. Welcome to your new life Kaew Ta!

Mae Kham Kaew

Mae Kham Kaew was born in Mae Hong Son, Northern Thailand around 1973.

She was rescued from Ratchaburi, to the west of Bangkok, where she worked in a trekking camp, serving tourist's demands for elephant riding. Like so many captive elephants, her life followed the route of working in the logging industry until its ban in 1989 and then providing rides for tourists. She has been moved throughout the country at the hands of her multiple owners seeking the highest profits.

Mae Kham Kaew is blind in her right eye, which is believed to have resulted from her previous mahout using a sling shot on her when she failed to comply with a command.

She was rescued and brought to Samui Elephant Sanctuary on Thursday, 16th August, 2018. She can now relax in her new sanctuary home and finally be an elephant again.

Lam Yai

Lam Yai was rescued November 3, 2019 so that she could join our thriving herd. Priot to her rescue, Lam Yai worked for decades providing rides to tourists, who were most likely unaware of her daily suffering. She has been intentionally blinded in her left eye after refusing to comply to a command. Her body is a map of scars, which tell of a life of misery.

When Lam Yai arrived, she was malnourished and her spirits were low. Since joining the herd, she is steadily gaining confidence and is settling in well at Samui Elephant Sanctuary under the loving care of her mahout. We continue to treat her physical wounds, (resulting from her previous life of abuse) with daily medical care.


At 54 years old, we hope that Lam Yai will enjoy many years with us, experiencing a kinder world among friends with the freedom to forage and interact spontaneously with her own kind in a beautiful environment.

Though Lam Yai’s transition will take time, we are confident that the daily trauma of her past will soon start to fade as she immerses herself in life at our sanctuary. We are hopeful she will soon find a friend or two amongst our herd who will help her to heal and rediscover her elephant nature.