It's important to us to give back and support causes that are consistent with our beliefs. One thing that I love about travelers is their awareness and passion for helping people and animals. To follow these values, we decided to support a cause that is close to our hearts and the hearts of many travelers alike. 5% of all of our sales goes to the Elephant Conservation Center in Laos, an organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of Asian elephants. These mysterious and magical animals are far too often exploited and inhumanely treated; the ECC is dedicated to helping sick and mistreated elephants live a better life. We know we can't save the world, but every little bit helps the ECC improve the lives of this endangered species.
The Elephant Conservation Center is Laos' first hospital dedicated to elephant victims of logging accidents and affected by diseases. It is currently the only company that provides international-standard welfare in Laos and actively encourages reproduction in elephants. The ECC offers veterinary care services, an emergency unit, laboratory and facilities to control animals prior to surgery. The Center also offers guided tours and accommodation. Here, visitors have the chance to get a great experience alongside the Asian elephant while knowing that their visit is not harming the elephants or supporting their exploitation.
The Elephant Conservation Center is involved in several projects aimed to support the Asian elephant. Some of these projects include:
Elephants registered in the Sponsoring program live at the Conservation Center and are either pregnant females, mothers with their babies, injured/sick elephants undertaking treatment, or old animals enjoying their retirement.
By making a donation of $60, you can sponsor an elephant and have access to the ECC elephants' video blog for a year. These videos are shot by their team of biologists and are uploaded regularly to keep you informed about the elephants and their social lives.
The Elephant Nursery
The Elephant Nursery at the ECC is an innovative reproduction project led by Lao mahouts (elephant owners) and the Center. This program relies on voluntary participation and aims to support mahouts involved in logging to bear the cost of breeding their elephant.
The Baby Bonus Program
This program gives mahouts who want to breed their elephants but can't afford it an incentive to do so. Mahouts with a pregnant elephant are offered to be stationed at the Elephant Conservation Center and receive a salary for 4 years while the ECC helps to care for the calf.
Laos, known as Lane Xang or "Land of a Million Elephants," has historically had large populations of both wild and domesticated elephants. Unfortunately, due to loss of natural habitat and poaching, a mere 400 wild and 450 domesticated elephants exist in Laos today. If the current mortality rate continues, the elephant population will become extinct in the near future.
Since capturing elephants from the wild was banned by the government, the domesticated population of elephants has plummeted, which has resulted in the existing elephants working at furious paces. Of the 450 domesticated elephants, most of them are involved in the logging industry. They are overworked, exhausted, and because of this are unable to reproduce. There are only 33 elephants under the age of 20 in Laos, making the future of Laos's domesticated elephants severely threatened.
There is an urgent need to safeguard the remaining elephants and help them breed. The ECC provides careful and sensitive support of elephants in an effort to rebuild the Asian elephant population and save this species from extinction.