Before his life of freedom at the Elephant Conservation Centre in Laos, Dor Khoun Meuang was one of a group of elephants that were in the process of being illegally sent to a Middle Eastern Zoo from Laos in 2016. With 12 other elephants, he had been loaded into a shipping container, ready for transportation.
The plane waiting for them was on the tarmac at Vientiane International Airport in Laos when the Lao government stepped in. A last minute executive order was received from the Prime Minister’s office, stating that the sale was illegal under Lao law. The elephants were blocked from entering the airport.
Originally trained to perform degrading circus tricks, Dor Khoun Meuang was moments away from a life sentence of performing daily shows. Thankfully, due to the government’s intervention, all 13 elephants were saved from this fate and sent to the Elephant Conservation Centre in Laos in 2017. With its excellent welfare and conservation programs, the Elephant Conservation Centre was considered the best place for these elephants.
Thanks to the wild reintroduction program, young Dor Khoun Meuang now roams free with a surrogate herd of three females named Mae Mah, Mae Noy, and Mae Boun Me Yai. They live in freedom inside the Nam Pouy National Park Protected Area, as part of the Elephant Conservation Centre’s soft release program. Here, former captive elephants are released into the wild and are closely monitored by staff.
Estimated to have been born in 2013, Dor Khoun Meuang is very playful and loves attention from his adopted herd. He makes a distinctive squeaking sound and has striking, wild eyes. Along with his new herd, he was released in March 2019 and is closely monitored to ensure his wellbeing and safety. This is the first attempt to release captive elephants back into the wild in Laos and adopting Dor Khoun Meuang will help protect this herd and critical forest habitat.
By adopting Dor Khoun Meuang today, you are making a symbolic but incredibly powerful gesture. By adopting one elephant, you are helping to safeguard their entire herd. You are supporting them, their kinfolk and their precious calves, and you are actively protecting their jungle habitat against poaching, logging and illegal encroachment. Thank you for helping us protect this critical population of Sumatran Elephants.
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