Mae Sa Elephant Training Center

chiang-mai-mae-sa-elephant-training-centreMae Sa Elephant Training Center & Camp - Come and watch the majestic elephants in one of Thailand's best elephant camps along the Mae Sa Valley. With shows every day , you can watch these mammoth creatures play football, among other tricks. There are also opportunities to ride an elephant through the local countryside, feed them with bananas and sugarcane, and take plenty of photographs. Also within the camp you will find an elephant nursery and a rafting center. The Center flanks a rushing river in a beautiful lush tropical valley a mere twenty minutes scenic drive from downtown Chiang Mai. Having been open for nearly thirty years and currently home to seventy eight elephants, we have become leaders and experts in the field of elephant breeding, training, healthcare and sustainable tourism. Asian elephants have long been used as beasts of burden by man - transportation, timber logging or in war. In the early days of elephant camps these were the main abilities showcased, but it was the camp’s founder, Choochart Kalmapijit’s understanding of the deep intelligence of elephants that inspired him to establish Maesa Elephant Camp in 1976. Over the years Choochart purchased elephants from all over the country, and with their mahouts and other experts, worked and fell in love with the elephants, revealing one skill or fact after another about these pachyderms that have not only helped to develop Maesa’s reputations over the years, but help further the cause of the conservation and future of the Asian elephant. chiang-mai-mae-sa-elephant-training-centreThe wellbeing and nourishment of our elephants are of prime importance and the total of six tons of grass, bananas and sugarcane that go to feed our elephants daily are self grown. We also grow special grasses and herbs which all combine to assure the health and well being of all our elephants. Being the first elephant camp certified by ISO 9001 version 2008, we are determined to offer visitors a new-age elephant camp which gives our visitors a real glimpse into the lives and facts about elephants. What they eat, how they live, their biology, their future or plight as well as the continued development and promotion of their skills, intelligence and abilities are of utmost importance to our long term goals. Of great significance is Choochart’s founding of the Association for the Thai Elephant Procreation to encourage the breeding so that the future of the Asian elephants is assured. At the turn of the twentieth century there were over one hundred thousand elephants in Thailand, today there are less than five. Through research, years of trial and error and a determination to succeed, Maesa now has a very successful breeding programme. Only the best bulls and cows are selected for the procreation programme which has lead to the birth of many healthy baby elephants. One thing you can always be assured of is that elephants at Maesa Elephant Camp are, and always will be, mentally and physically healthy.

chiang-mai-mae-sa-elephant-training-centreWorld Record - Maesa Elephant Camp created a painting by a group of the eight artist elephants which became of interest on the world stage when the Ripley's Believe It Or Not and the Guinness World Records acknowledged this special painting as “the Largest Painting by a Group of Elephants” and “the Most Expensive Painting by A Group of Elephants” respectively. Ripley's Believe It Or Not (Thailand) awarded its coveted prize to Maesa Elephant Camp for its 2.40 metres wide and12 metres long painting entitled “Cold Wind, Swirling Mist, Charming Lanna ” and created by a group of eight elephant artists, as “the Largest Painting by A Group of Elephants” on December 13, 2004. The award was given to the camp on the day it staged the painting rehearsal for the Guinness World Records shooting that took place on February 19, 2005 At the rehearsal, the eight elephants - Kongkum, Wanpen, Kamsan, Lankam, Duanpen, Songpun, Punpetch and Pu Ood - spent six hours creating the painting which combines eight panels each created by a different elephant. Only non-toxic acrylic was used in the painting and the elephants took a short break of 15 - 20 minutes every hour to have some food and water and take a rest. 

chiang-mai-mae-sa-elephant-training-centreShow Times - 08:00 am. - 09:40 am. - 01:30 pm. Visit our showground to and enjoy a variety of fabulous shows of elephants who love to show off their skills and have a good time. Once you enter the show ground, 20 elephants will parade to welcome you to their show. Don't miss a chance to observe the elephants bathing at the two bathing areas on Maesa River before each elephant show. The shows are as following: • Demonstration of how to get on and off an elephant by experienced mahouts • Musical performance and dancing by the talented elephants • How the elephants sleep at night (lying on their side) • Football matches consisting of many talented elephant players like Play Lankam, Kongkam and Khamsan • Painting of many abstract and realistic pictures by the eight elephants - Kongkum, Wanpen, Kamsan, Lankam, Duanpen, Songpun, Punpetch and Pu Ood. Maesa Elephant Camp is the only place in the world showing the painting of realistic pictures by elephant artists. • Demonstration of how the elephants massage their mahouts by using their trunks • Elephant stick picking competition. • Dart Game show by little elephants. • Logging and lumber dragging show. 

chiang-mai-mae-sa-elephant-training-centreThai people have long had a place in their hearts for elephants. Whether they worked together to log timber, travel across harsh terrain or lead troops into battle, Thai people have had a close relationship with elephants for centuries. Kachasart is a branch of study dedicated solely to elephants, and this local wisdom has been passed down from generation to generation covering such facts as to how to teach mahouts to train elephants, how to build life-long relationships and communicate with elephants and how to care for them. The art of elephant training requires much endurance and time as well as an intimate and considerate relationship between each elephant and its mahout. At Maesa Elephant Camp, all elephants are trained to get acquainted with human beings and especially their mahouts as a basic platform for other advanced training. During this period of three months, the mahouts will teach their elephants how to communicate with them, at the same time building an intimate relationship with them by such activities as bathing, jungle walks and other activities. Following this introduction, a more advanced training programme is started where mahouts and elephants work together on mounting and dismounts, playing games and practicing various skill sets. Each training activity is taken at a different pace for each animal according to how they adjust to the challenge. It is important that the elephants enjoy their activities and are not overly exerted. Through this training, each elephant’s preference and skills emerge and in time each and every elephant at Maesa Elephant Camp is able to entertain, act or use their particular skill so that they enjoy their daily jobs and our visitors enjoy an array of skills which is often most unexpected to those unfamiliar with elephants. Similar to human being, elephants understand the meaning of applause and appreciate it. Give them a big clap after each show! Bravo!

chiang-mai-mae-sa-elephant-training-centre Traditionally and historically, the elephant has had a long association with Thailand. It's strength, power, ponderous dignity and majesty has ensured it a special place in the hearts of Thai Kings for many centuries. Even today, H.M. King Bhumibol has a stable of Royal Elephants. A white Elephant is especially sacred and auspicious. When one is found, it immediately becomes the property of the reigning Monarch. Long ago, when Thai Kings waged war against invading enemies, it was the elephant which provided the "heavy" war equipment. Elephants were the battlewagons and tanks of the day from which, aloft the elephants neck, the King (or Noble) could see and engage the enemy. In more recent times during the last century, elephants were engaged in the extraction of heavy teaklogs from the forests. These were working elephants and they were sent into forest areas where machines would cause too much devastation. For all of its ponderous size, and elephant is very surefooted and surprisingly dainty and swift of step. A mature, working elephant can readily lift 700kgs weight or haul a towton log for one kilometer without a break. To have an elephant work in a disciplined fashion requires years of training. chiang-mai-mae-sa-elephant-training-centreThis begins when a baby elephant is 3 years old and sent to school. The young elephant is introduced to his, or her, "bosses" an experienced mahout and his apprentice. Both will be bonded with the elephant for as long as life permits and will be totally responsible for the elephant's training, future work schedule and career. Not only will they train and work with their charge, they will also play with their elephant because elephants love a bit of fun and can be quite mischievous. Nowadays, with the Thai timber industry in decline, the friendly elephant is seeing more and more of the millions of visitors who visit Thailand each year. They have adjusted well to being the centre of tourist admiration they are happy to take the visitor for a ride a top that massive back or further afield on a trekking expedition. The elephant is happy to entertain by demonstrating how it used to work by hauling and stacking logs Elephants are " team " player in such operation. It is also a team player when Please do not innocently support such exploitation. It is not only against the laws of nature, it is against the laws of Thailand! Maesa Elephant Camp (Our Town Office) 119/9 Tapae Rd., Muang District, Chiang Mai 50100 Thailand Tel. +66 5320 6247, +66 5320 6248, Fax. +66 5320 6247