Contemporary Elephant Culture in Thailand

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Contemporary Elephant Culture in Thailand


What does it mean to treat elephants ethically? How do we identify ethical elephant sanctuaries? How do we choose an ethical elephant sanctuary to visit? What are the challenges in operating an ethical elephant sanctuary?

Please join us for informative and interesting presentations about the various issues surrounding ethical treatment of elephants and elephant sanctuaries in Thailand. Topics will include what does it mean to treat elephants ethically, why sanctuaries got started, how far they’ve progressed, how to select a sanctuary to visit and what the future holds for elephants in captivity.


Katherine Connor, the founder of Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary-BLES in Sukhothai is originally from Britain and is internationally recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on captive elephant welfare. She has pioneered ethical elephant management for more than 20 years. Katherine created BLES in memory of the baby, Boon Lott, and founded a home in his name for rescued and retired elephants.
Katherine, her partner Kru Sing, her 5 children, mahouts, cooks and housekeeping staff have created a unique sanctuary and together have rescued 33 elephants over the last 18 years. BLES is currently home to 9 gorgeous elephants.

Julie Zatuchni is an expat living in Chiang Mai. A lifelong advocate for animal rights, her work in the United States included hands-on involvement with animal shelters, fundraising and co-founding the organization No Extinction, dedicated to raising awareness and education for the conservation and protection of elephants, rhinos and other animals in peril.
Julie has visited many elephant sanctuaries in Thailand. Her research of the topic includes networking with experts in the field.


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