Khao Khun was in Laos Zoo for a few years, the zoo is a governmental institution soon to be transformed with the help of WFFT into the first ever wildlife rescue centre in Laos PDR.
She is approximately 50 years old and has spent most of her life in zoos or trekking camp carrying visitors on her back. She is very gentle, relatively small in size and loves to spend hours grazing in her enclosure. She is the only Asian elephant in the newly open Laos Wildlife Rescue Centre but we hope to be able to rescue others for Khao Khun to make friends.
Update (July 2016):
In Wildlife Friends Foundation’s sister rescue centre; Laos wildlife rescue centre, founded in July 2015 and based just two hours north on Vientiane lives one rescued asian elephant named Khao Khun. In LWRC we are slowly taking over the management of the zoo and rescuing all of the animals in that have been kept there in captivity for all of their lives as well as working with a dedicated team of staff and volunteers to rescue many other animals and species across Lao PDR.
Khao Khun used to be one of the main reasons that tourists visited Laos zoo as she was forced to offer rides to them around the site before LWRC took over the management and retired Khao Khun at a ripe age of 40 years. This beautiful lady now spends her days in the grass fields of the rescue centre, foraging and exploring without the heavy weight of tourists and long days of work confining her in chains. Without any other elephants at the project, Khao Khun gets her social stimulation through the lovely volunteers and care team that provide many enrichment toys for her. Her progress through her retirement so far has been astonishing and the LWRC are seeing Khao Khun slowly reverting to her wild ways and choosing to head to the forest over being surrounded by people!
Update (June 2017):
Khao Khun is enjoying her life at the WFFT Laos rescue center, and particularly enjoys her daily walk from her night den out to the huge open expanse behind the center. She is left out there to wander during the day, where she is free from human contact, and is able to graze in the foliage and swim in the lake at her leisure.
At the end of the day when she is brought back to her night den, enrichments are waiting for her. Her favorite enrichment at the moment is an ice treat, which is a large block of fruit frozen in water. Khao Khun always gets excited when she sees the ice treat, flapping her ears happily.
Currently sponsored by:
1. Linda Tostevin, WA ($200)
2. Ruth Farre, NSW ($100)
3. Keegan Raeside, NSW ($100)
4. Dorie Sokol, USA ($100)
5. Eleanor Hubble, WA ($100)