Boonrod is our most curious elephant, loving to smell people she comes into contact with and enjoys children!

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Mahout: Pong

Boonrod is the classic example of why the lives of the elephant and the mahout are inseparable. When Boonrod came to the foundation for the first time, the ex-mahout – Pong’s parents – failed to adjust to a different lifestyle. They stayed for less than a year before returning to Bangkok for street begging. When Thailand called for better welfare for the elephants, Boonrod’s current mahout, Pong, decided once again to take her to our foundation. Her second stay at the foundation lasted for about a year before she and the mahout transferred to another elephant camp in Chiang Mai.

Everything was going well for the pair. Until the COVID pandemic, that is. As the pandemic swept Thailand clean of international travelers, the Chiang Mai elephant camp that they stayed lost their source of income and was struggling to keep the elephants fed. As the mahout was getting desperate by the day, our foundation decided to take them in for the third, and hopefully, last time.