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Our Elephants at Hidden Forest Elephant Reserve Phuket

OUR ELEPHANTS

To be in the presence of the largest land mammal on earth is a truly life changing experience

Our six beautiful elephants spent the last two decades giving thousands of rides to tourists, they worked long days with very little rest.

 

Their lives are now completely transformed and they will never have to work again. They live peacefully with us here at Hidden Forest and have the freedom to make their own decisions; to choose to bathe in the ponds, roam around the forest, and live a life previously only in their dreams.

We offer a truly magical and peaceful experience where we hope you will feel humbled to be in the presence of these magnificent animals, observing them in the tranquility of their natural forest home. 

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ฝ้าย Nong Fai (Cotton) 55 yrs

Written 15th Nov 2023 when Nong Fai had just arrived at Hidden Forest. For weekly updates of our elephants and their transition into our sanctuary, please visit us on Facebook and Instagram. 

 

Nong Fai is 55 years old but looks much younger than her years. She is playful and fun and she behaves just like a young elephant. Many years ago, she was used as a logging elephant near the Myanmar border to haul teak out of the jungle, and then she was brought to Phuket to give rides to tourists. She currently prefers to be around people and is scared of the other elephants though we hope with time and patience she will settle and learn that she now has the freedom to socialize and make elephant friends. 

 

Elephants used in the riding industry often don’t have the freedom of a large pond in which to bathe and they are certainly not left in peace to bathe at their own free will. Our pond at our Hidden Forest Restaurant could be the very first time that Nong Fai has bathed in years. She still seems afraid to go in on her own so her mahout, whom she trusts, wades into the pond in front of her and she follows! We will slowly reduce the time that the mahout is in the pond with her so she gains in confidence to bathe on her own. 

We are excited to see Nong Fai's personality shine through now she's in the forest where she belongs. 

Photo Credit: Phuket Photography Tours

Hidden Forest Elephant Reserve

น้ำผึ้ง Nam Paerng (Honey) 59 yrs

Written 15th Nov 2023 when Nam Paerng had just arrived at Hidden Forest. For weekly updates of our elephants and their transition into our sanctuary, please visit us on Facebook and Instagram.

Nam Paerng is 59 years old, and whilst she's our smallest elephant in height, she's healthy and strong. She originated from the Nakhon / Yala region in the south of Thailand. She was a logging elephant for many years, hauling teak and rubber trees out of the forest, and then she was sold to a riding camp in Phang Nga before being sold again to Phuket to give rides to tourists. 

​Nam Paerng doesn't like walking very far and much prefers to stay in one place and eat, often in the forest devouring our trees! Maybe her tired body needs rest and recuperation after a lifetime of hard work.

Also, on the first day when she arrived at Hidden Forest, Ton Oi and Gaw Boon immediately touched trunks and started caressing each other and an immediate friendship began. We believe elephants heal each other and it will be wonderful to see their friendship blossom. 

Photo Credit: Phuket Photography Tours

Hidden Forest Elephant Reserve

ชื่อก่อบุญ Gaw Boon (Good Luck) 53 yrs

Written 15th Nov 2023 when Gaw Boon had just arrived at Hidden Forest. For weekly updates of our elephants and their transition into our sanctuary, please visit us on Facebook and Instagram. 

 

Gaw Boon is 53 years old, she is our tallest elephant and very impressive. She has a wonderful aura about her, as if she has seen the world but is finally at peace here in her new forest home. She was bought from a riding camp in Pattaya during Covid as her owner couldn't take care of her any longer. Riding camps in Pattaya work their elephants very hard as pre Covid there was a huge influx of customers wanting to ride elephants. 

 

Gaw Boon has white toe nails and white palate (roof of her mouth) - 2 of 7 points that determine a sacred white elephant.

On arrival, Gaw Boon instantly showed a friendship towards Nam Paerng as they touched trunks and talked to each other with rumbles and trumpets It was wonderful to see a natural friendship form so quickly. At the previous riding camp where they both worked, they didn't show a friendship between each other at all so it will be wonderful to watch their friendship blossom. We feel that now they aren't forced to work anymore, their true personalities will shine through.

Photo Credit: Phuket Photography Tours

Hidden Forest Elephant Reserve

ต้นอ้อย Ton Oi (Sugarcane) 43 yrs

Written 15th Nov 2023 when Ton Oi had just arrived at Hidden Forest. For weekly updates of our elephants and their transition into our sanctuary, please visit us on Facebook and Instagram. 

 

Ton Oi is 43 years old, she is a really sweet friendly elephant. She was previously worked in the logging industry to haul teak out of the forest and then she was sold to a riding camp in Pattaya where she worked long hard days giving rides to tourists. During Covid, she was taken to Surin in North East Thailand when there was no tourism, and once Thailand started to re-open, she was sold and transported to Phuket to give rides.

She is easily recognized by having only one small tush (a female tusk) on the right side of her trunk so if you visit us, you may recognize her!

Ton Oi loves to bathe in our pond, often spending up to half an hour in there! Sometimes when she bathes, a wild egret swoops down to the waters edge but Nam Paerng doesn't want to share her pond and she wades through the water and splashes her trunk to scare the egret away! It's wonderful and very funny to watch! (A video of her bathing is at the bottom of our home page where we explain why we don't allow visitors to bathe with our elephants!)

Photo Credit: Phuket Photography Tours

Hidden Forest Elephant Reserve
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