Look in to the eyes of this old and exhausted elephant. See the wounds on her face. Watch her as she sways from side to side, chained up next to a busy road. High storey hotels and mountains of trash surrounding her…

Her injuries, aches and pains are ignored by the hundreds of tourists clambering on to the metal chair painfully and precariously balanced on her protruding spine. Every day, this shattered old lady, stands, bracing herself as people climb all over her, as if she was some kind of scaffold. She carries them around in a circle, dragging her sore feet. The route is boring and she is depressed, but nobody sees the tears as they fill her empty eyes and roll down her hollow cheeks…

Sontaya (meaning ‘Twilight’ in Thai) is in her late fifties and this is her reality.

She is one of an estimated 4000 captive elephants in Thailand, forced to endure 12 hour days of ferrying around tourists. Food sources are limited. The heat is intense. Life is hard, but it doesn’t have to be this way….

Two weeks ago, BLES was contacted by the owners of Sontaya. They explained how tough life was for them and their elephant in the camp and asked for help. Tired of living in a constant hand to mouth existence, the owners want to retire from camp life.

BLES has an impeccable reputation within the elephant world and the fact that we are constantly contacted by the owners, wishing for a better life for their old elephants, is testimony to that.

The BLES team recently travelled down to Pattaya, to meet with the owners and examine Sontaya. Everyone agreed that Sontaya’s situation was desperate and she needed immediate retirement.

Elephants constantly collapse from exhaustion. The extreme heat, combined with lack of water, poor diet and gruelling work regimes, can and do kill elephants. Just last week it was reported that a young and relatively healthy elephant collapsed in Cambodia.


We, as a global community, have the power to save Sontaya from such a shocking fate. She has served and suffered enough. Her miserable existence must end.

It is time to SAVE SONTAYA!!


We can change the world for this elephant and her human family – will you help us?

BLES needs to secure a total of 12200 GBP – 17800 USD – 15700 Euro – 625000 Thai Baht and we need to raise the funds ASAP. Every day that passes, is another day in hell for Sontaya.

You can donate via Justgiving –

Screen Shot 2559-04-27 at 12.07.28 AM OR

via our Paypal page –

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BLES can not save Sontaya without you. Please do not roll your eyes and turn away from this. Please do not shrug your shoulders and shake your head – you have the power to make a positive difference. So please, join us today and help raise awareness for Sontaya and all the other overworked captive elephants in Thailand. Please share Sontaya’s sad story far and wide and help us raise the funds needed. Two minutes out of your day, could change her life – now isn’t that something to feel great about?


Trunks of love and thanks, now and forever – Katherine xx





  1. Jamuna Llewellyn · April 27, 2016

    Please save this dear elephant now!


  2. Pingback: SAO NOI IS SAFE! | blesele

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