BLES became aware of Sontaya’s sad existence many months before her rescue.The family had owned this gorgeous girl in her fifties for a number of years, and only had her working in a camp in Pattaya because it was the only means of income they had. They were aware that she was old, tired, and stressed from the work, but what were they to do?

They contacted Katherine, hoping that BLES could help them to retire her and enable them also to retire  and move back to their home village, a long, long way from Pattaya.

A fundraiser was launched on Just Giving by BLEAF ( Boon Lotts Elephants Asia Foundation ) and also donations came directly to the Sanctuary via paypal and bank donations. Everyone was eager to rescue this sweet lady.

Since the day she arrived 30th April 2016, Sontaya has been a peaceful presence at the sanctuary. She has found friendship in the older ladies group, and stuck close to Boon Thong, Permpoon, and Thong Dee on her first adventures through the forest.
Similarly to Boon Thong and Thong Dee, Sontaya was rescued from a riding camp in Pattaya, where she was forced to carry heavy loads of tourists on her back all day, everyday. Sontaya’s journey from the crowds of Pattaya to the forest of BLES has been truly inspirational.It is clear to us all that freedom suits her!

You can read Katherine’s blog about Sontaya’s rescue here: 
We are so proud to have given Sweet Sontaya the chance to live in freedom, to scratch, splash and forage to her hearts content, and to be able to socialise with other free, rescued elephants that have come from lives tragically similar to hers.

Our Sweet old lady laid down to rest forever on 30th September 2016.
We loved her so.

Please see our Other Elephants

Pang Fai

Pang Suai

Pang Noi



Beautiful Lotus

Pang Dow Naam Chok





Mee Chok


Pang Tong


Tong Yui & Bong Beng

Mare Boon Mee

Plai Tong Jai

Seedor Gam


Seedor Yai

Boon Thong




Sao Noi

Thong Dee