FOUR PAWS to build one of the biggest elephant sanctuaries in Southeast Asia

Out of the 7,000 elephants in Myanmar, approximately 2,000 live in the wild and 5,000 are in private keeping or belong to state-owned enterprises.

Of the elephants that are privately or state- owned, 1,000 are former working elephants now “unemployed” due to export bans and logging restrictions. Since the demand for teak has decreased due to strict environmental regulations, many elephants are not needed to carry heavy tree trunks and help with felling. Although these bans and restrictions mean these animals will no longer be succumed to grueling working conditions, this has caused owners of these elephants to kill them or sell them as tourist attractions.

To help save these retired elephants and combat this animal welfare crisis, FOUR PAWS is constructing its first ever elephant sanctuary: ELEPHANTS LAKE. This sanctuary will provide a safe home for endangered animals in the Bago region of Myanmar.

ELEPHANTS LAKE will encompass more than 42,000 acres, making it one of the largest elephant sanctuaries in Southeast Asia. The sanctuary will function as rehabilitation center, an orphanage and hospital. It will also provide a permanent home for elephants that cannot be released into the wild.

Veterinarians and experts will care for the former logging elephants, as well as injured or orphaned wild elephants.

The goal of ELEPHANTS LAKE will be to provide a comprehensive rehabilitation program by bringing together new herds and subsequently releasing the animals into the wild at the adjacent North Zar Ma Yi Forest Reserve.

We hope to welcome the first elephant residents in 2019.

Collaboration Among the Government, Forestry and NGOs

On May 1st, 2018, FOUR PAWS started the construction of ELEPHANTS LAKE. Myanmar’s Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry provided the land, while state-owned forestry organization “Myanmar Timber Enterprise” will be in charge of placing the elephants. Additionally, local NGO “Mingalar Myanmar” will support in communicating with the Oozies. Oozies are elephant caretakers who currently look after the logging elephants.

Over the next ten years, FOUR PAWS hopes to rehabilitate up to 300 elephants at ELEPHANTS LAKE.

Support a groundbreaking project

Myanmar’s captive elephants are in desperate need of a safe haven