Useful Information About Laos
Laos, often remarked as the forgotten country in southeast Asia, is slowly drawing people’s attention. It combines stretches of tropical forest across mainly mountainous terrain with the contrasting chaos of the main towns’ bustling roads. Its southern wetlands and small set of central plains are often set against the backdrop of towering mountains in spectacular fashion and it is easy to lose yourself in the crystal clear pools of Kuang Si Falls, south of the Luang Prabang province. Did you know, Lao culture is centered on the pleasures of life? They like to enjoy drinking, laughing and friendship. ‘Muan’ means enjoyable but is also a state of being in the country. With all the joy to experience both in the bustling towns and serene nature parks, if you are ever asked ‘Muan Baw?’ which roughly translates to ‘are you happy?’, you will most likely always say yes!
To read more about Laos’ climate, geography, history, culture and biodiversity, please click here.
See below for a video highlighting the elephant sanctuary and the stunning forest location of the project:
Read more about the sanctuary’s elephant welfare policy
The elephant sanctuary’s policy is based on best practices and relies heavily on the “Five Animal Freedoms” listed below (Source: OIE International)
1. Freedom from malnutrition
By providing ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
2. Freedom from thermal and physical discomfort
By providing an appropriate environment including shelter, shade, access to bathing facilities and social interaction with other elephants.
3. Freedom from injury or disease
By providing experienced mahouts or keepers who can handle the elephants without causing injury, preventative health care and access to veterinary care.
4. Freedom from fear and stress
By ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering, limited use of bull hook (ankus), and efforts made to phase out its use for positive reinforcement training techniques. By minimising public contact, allowing elephants freedom to move at will, escape and find refuge. Maintaining elephants in social groups when at rest and ensuring elephants should not be tethered except for welfare reasons.
5. Freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour
By providing sufficient space and areas where elephants are able and encouraged to dig, bathe, dive, forage, dust bathe etc and company of other elephants ideally in a social structure of mixed sex and age.