Our Mission

Ran-Tong is devoted to preserving the future of abused and domestic elephants in Chiang Mai and across Thailand. Every elephant we rescue from hardship brings us closer to saving them from the brink of extinction, our goals are not only geared towards protection and prevention but also educating the public of the history of elephants in Thai culture.

Founded in 2009, Ran-Tong have Rescued over 40 elephants to date with the help of public generosity, support and private donation. In 2015 we opened a new sanctuary for young and abused older elephants. Providing them with a better quality of life, able to roam freely and experience true care and affection from countless elephant lovers.

The Story Behind Ran-Tong

Our story began in 2007 by adopting a blind elephant named “Boon Som” from an extremely abusive mahout. “Boon Som” suffered many years of abuse working within the forest and was injected with amphetamines so he would work harder. Finally, after his rescue he could retire and have a happier life at his new home by the river, with plenty of food and his health maintained. However, it took a long time for “Boom Som” to recover. The founder and his family kept watch over him daily for 6 months during which time he fell into a coma after his rescue. The massive wounds all over his body were incredibly painful, but by treating his wounds, giving him vitamins and anti-parasitic this helped with his recovery. Slowly but surely “Boom Som” started to feel better, was eating regularly, gained weight and has now fully recovered from his traumatic past.

Devoted to providing a better quality of life for Elephants, the founder and his family have never stopped rescuing more abused elephants. A short time afterwards “Thong In” an old elephant was the second to join the family and since then the elephant numbers have expanded beyond our expectations. Our passion continues to grow and educating the public about Asian Elephants in Chiang Mai is of great importance to us.

In 2009, we opened to the public. This allows us to continue to provide a safe haven for our elephants. Running and maintaining an elephant sanctuary is a costly activity, so the founders wanted to share their experiences with the public and the decision to run it as a business was necessary for the survival of the elephants ongoing care. Ran-Tong Save & Rescue Elephant Centre is small but is now one of the most well-known elephant camps in Chiang Mai and northern Thailand.

We strive to educate our visitors about the horrendous history of the elephants. Some tourists just want to take pictures with the elephants, but it is our mission is to inform them about what is behind caring for an elephant. To date, many people still abuse elephants to make financial gain!

At our Ran-Tong elephant sanctuary we are trying to ensure a better quality of life for the elephants in their natural environment. Providing the right amount of food, water, exercise and stimulation without harming the animal in any way.

Taking care of them is a costly and strenuous process and we need all the help we can get.

Elephants are highly regarded in Thailand; in 1817 the Thailand flag symbolized a white elephant surrounded with a white Chakra and a red background.

In the late 19th century the teak industry became the main business in Thailand and many more elephants were domesticated and made to go logging. This mass deforestation resulted in flash floods where many elephants and people died and forced the government to abolished logging. This left elephant owners without money to feed the elephants so took to begging in the streets for money. This was the start of the elephant journey to Eco-tourism and the sanctuary was born.