" ELEPHANT SANCTUARY BY PHAIRAT CHAIYAKHAM "
Khun Phairat knows a lot about elephants. He has been an elephant keeper for more than forty years. He loves the giant animals and from his affection for them he has created a successful business. “I used to wonder about elephants when I was a boy,” he explains. “How do you feed them and how much food must they have every day? Now I know the answer. It costs a lot to keep elephants – between 1,000 and 5,000 THB a day for food and medicines per each elephant.”
Khun Phairat has thirty elephants and employs some one hundred staff to look after them. Every day he organizes three shows and more than 1,000 visitors crowd into the show ground to watch the 90-minute demonstration. As managing Director of Pattaya Elephant Village, Khun Phairat designed the show himself. “It’s a typical day in the life of an elephant, starting with the Elephant bathing. If you want to see the type of show that you find in a circus, you won' t find it on my premises,” he says. Some elephant shows feature games of football and other gimmicks, but Khun Phairat dispenses with that and sticks to the authentic lifestyle of the working elephant. “We run the business for our family and our elephants. We guarantee that our elephants are well treated and are not afraid of our visitors.” At the Elephant Village there is plenty of space for feeding and the natural surroundings are good for the elephants
The Elephant Village was opened in Pattaya in 1973 as a sanctuary for former working elephants. These elephants, through reasons of injury or ill health, can no longer be used as a part of the backbone of heavy work in the jungles of Thailand. Also because of their diminishing habitat, it is now longer possible to return them to the wild The Elephant Village provides then magnificent creatures with a safe haven, where they may live out their lives with dignity and freedom from fear. A visit to the Elephant Village is not only unique experience, but it is also a lifesaver because the fees paid by our visitors contribute to, the very survival of the elephants, both now and in the future
The Elephant Village is a private company, which is run on a non‑profit making basis and after running expenses have been deducted, all of the proceeds go to feed, pay the medical bills and generally take care of the elephants. It receives neither government support nor sponsorship from any large company or international organization At the time before, many wild elephants was captured and trained to be the timber working elephants. Later the reproducing new young one was born and learns about the timber work. The incomes for working elephants at that time was enough available for their survives, Now a day, no more timber job for working elephants , the domesticated elephants are in trouble to survive. There is one way to help to survives the elephant is the tourist business. The used of elephant rides by the tourist had incomes to survives those domesticated animals, that why the elephant are now use for the ride in the area of tourist areas. For conditions of workload, the elephant riding is cannot compare with the timber work., in the jungle works, elephant carry on back loaded about 500 kilos, hauling 2000 kilos push the weight about 4-5 tons by head. and maybe 6-10 hours a day. But at the tourism areas elephant carry on back not more than 150 kilos by two persons and during the day normally having only the good condition elephant worked not more than 2-3 hours for one elephant.