The hotel has provided land for a community farm to help feed the animals who have been rescued from exploitative activities. The farm, just 200 metres from the hotel, has around 200 banana trees plus napier and sweet grass for the elephants.
“These magnificent animals need to eat 10 per cent of their body weight in food daily, which is up to 400kg per elephant.”
“With the sanctuary trying to survive on only five per cent of the funding necessary, its herd has been getting only a fraction of its normal food intake.”Ernesto Osuna. General Manager Meliá Koh Samui
The sanctuary was launched in 2018 as a safe haven for elephants who had been used in the logging industry, as show animals and for tourist trekking.
Like most elephant camps in Thailand the Samui Elephant Haven relies on visitors to provide funds for the upkeep of the herd of 21 elephants. The lack of visitors since the start of the pandemic has resulted in money allocated for renting land for the herd being used for feed, prompting fears that land may be lost.
“The elephants living at Samui Elephant Haven previously endured stressful lives. With that life behind them, these lucky elephants are now free to express their natural instincts without fear – interacting with each other in beautiful natural surroundings, foraging on native plants, and playing together in their custom-built and natural pools and mud pits. Visitors to the sanctuary, experience meaningful encounters with these magnificent animals in an environment where they are respected, and revered.”Maew Suriya, Founder Samui Elephant Haven
The Meliá Koh Samui has also launched a programme to educate hotel guests about the animals and to encourage them to visit and support the sanctuary.
The elephant project is not the only work that the hotel has been doing to support the local community through the pandemic. Resort staff have funded and distributed packs to local people containing essential items including rice, noodles, cooking oil, milk and tinned food.
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