Mobile Veterinary Elephant Clinic



One hundred years ago, there were an estimated 100,000 Asian elephants in Thailand. Today there are only 3,500-5,000 due to a multitude of threats, ranging from desire for ivory to reduction in forest space. The end of Thailand’s logging industry in 1989 put thousands of elephants and mahouts out of work and drove them into the cities or tourism ‘camps’, where elephants are subject to a debilitating lifestyle with low standards of health and long work hours. Elephant camps cater to tourists and use elephants irresponsibly, forcing them to provide rides in adverse weather and/or difficult terrain or to perform for ‘entertainment’ such as painting or playing soccer.


There are only two hospitals in Northern Thailand that provide care for sick or injured elephants. At best, these hospitals are a 6- hour drive from Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES). It takes up to five days for a veterinarian to arrive often with little to no follow up care given the long distances needed to travel.


Help us fund the mobile elephant clinic based at BLES to provide veterinary care to approximately 65 captive elephants living in this remote region. The clinic would not only provide critical veterinary services but also be a training opportunity for veterinarians and students to show responsible humane husbandry. Funds from this grant to Veterinarians International would provide a year’s salary for a junior elephant clinician.


Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES), is a sanctuary for rescued and retired elephants located in the rural village of Baan Tuek in northern Thailand. BLES is passionately devoted to creating a safe and natural home for Asian elephants, allowing them to interact freely in a natural environment. Consisting of mature banana plantations, grasslands, open fields, fresh water rivers and all types of fruit trees, BLES provides the elephants with a bounty of stimulation, exercise and freedom to 15 elephants.

Veterinarians International (VI) is a non-profit organization based in New York City, made up of a network of dedicated professionals with a common goal: to reduce the illness and suffering of animals and enhance human health and well-being worldwide. Working in collaboration with local groups and governments, VI tackles international health issues by sharing skills, expertise training techniques, and providing financial support. VI is overseeing the Mobile Elephant Clinic project in partnership with the Zoological Parks Organization (ZPO).

Program Type


Funding Needed



Veterinarians International and Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary


Sukhothai, Thailand


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Project Sponsors and Supporters

Classic Travel, The Bodhi Tree Foundation

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