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Photo from Facebook page of Elephant Conservation Center




Scattered in small fragmented herds, population numbers of wild elephants are believed to be around 300-600. Like many other countries, wild elephants in Laos are threatened by problems caused by humans. This includes deforestation, poaching, expansion of human settlement and human-elephant conflict.



Sadly captive elephant populations are in decline. Only an approximate 420 remain in Laos. The new millennium has bought with it the burden of financial gain, with mahouts (elephant owner) having to work their elephants seven days a week to earn a living. Elephants are mainly employed in the logging industry, a very hard and dangerous job. Male elephants are too tired and busy to reproduce and can even die from logging accidents.



Elephant Conservation Center differentiates itself from elephant tourist camps by being a haven for elephant reproduction, lactation, convalescence and disease diagnosis. Do NOT expect to see package tours riding these elephants all day long!



象保護センターは救助された象の避難所でもある。彼らは小象を救助し、Noyと名付けた。数年後、その小象はある手順を経て新しい名前を選ぶことになる。その手順について獣医師長Emmanuell Chaveが述べている。

At three years old, elephants are trained by their future mahout, to respond different cues, in order to work with humans. A shaman organizes this important journey, where the elephant leaves the forest world for the human world. At the end of the training, the young elephant is offered three sugarcanes, on which are written names. The name on the first sugarcane he picks up will be his.



The Elephant Conservation Center is probably one of the few places you can visit where it’s not about elephants adapting to people’s schedules and needs but where people adapt to the rhythm and needs of the elephants

I am very picky when it comes to choosing an Elephant “place” as there are far too many all over the world which treat their elephants badly and which just means moving from one horrible life (=logging) to another (= bad treatment for tourism purposes).



jo ebisujimaも保護センターを訪れ、象にとって背中に椅子を置かれることは苦痛であるということを知った

One of the important things that were learnt was that the chairs that are used for carry people and luggage on an elephants back (hawdah) really isn't good for them. This is due to the shape of the bones…It is more comfortable for the elephant to be ridden without any kind of saddle and sat on their neck.