Adventure – but with a new community based focus!
Like nature over time, evolution has happened – Mondulkiri Adventures has evolved into an exciting new venture keeping the best of what we are good at.
Bunong Elephant Project situated in Mondulkiri, Cambodia’s largest most sparsely populated province, is an exciting new elephant sanctuary that has been developed in consultation and partnership with the local Bunong community.
Cambodian run, the Elephant Project is dedicated to promoting the welfare of both elephants and the local indigenous community.
Started as an eco-tourism organisation, the Bunong Elephant Project provides much needed income for the indigenous people by renting their elephants. Now elephants at our sanctuary spend their time in our project’s forest and are no longer exploited commercially or put under stress with elephant rides, heavy farm work or logging. Instead, they can relax and live free in the forest eating bamboo, grass, playing in mud baths, swim in the river and more importantly socialize with other elephants.
The benefits of this approach are simple; an income is provided for the families who own and rely on these majestic animals for their livelihood; the forest is protected for all wildlife and elephants can be, well, elephants!
The elephants of Cambodia and South East Asia in general are under real threat. The overall population has halved in just three generations and the captive population is growing old.
Torn, the Cambodian founder of the Bunong Elephant Project explains:
“In 2006, during my work with Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment (E.L.I.E) I travelled across Mondulkiri Province to explore and did my research on domestic elephants. I found just 63 elephants living in the entire province. Today there are less than 45 domestic elephants left in Mondulkiri Province and they are growing old. A single elephant is often owned by between 5 and 10 families and has many different mahouts (elephant care takers) who work the elephant for the benefit of their family. The Bunong people know their elephants are ageing and it is a real worry for them, but in order for elephants to breed they believe they must first marry. This is a lavish affair and very expensive and this presents a major problem; the Bunong are very poor. Through your support by visiting our project, it is hoped that in time we will be able to support the marriage of elephants and start a breeding program. That would be just fantastic!
Thank you for reading about the Bunong Elephant Project. I hope you will visit us soon!”
Torn (Bunong Elephant Project Founder)