About ESAF

Foundation are located in Ban Nong Kai village, Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. The area is surrounded by rice fields, vegetable and fruit farms, rivers, and waterfalls. Our location is also near many other tourist attractions such as the sacred Doi Suthep temple which was built centuries ago and the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park that has an area of more than 260 square kilometers with many wild animals roaming at night, also serving as the water source of the Mae Rim River.
The Elephant Sanctuary Asia Foundation:

Elephant Sanctuary Asia Foundation is a grassroots initiative whose mission is to provide a nurturing space for elephant. Our aim is to provide a haven for abandoned elephants and to simply love and respect all living beings. Also camping events for people to enjoy nature, learn about sustainable living, and spend time with the elephants. Elephant Retirement Park is a home for retired working elephants, at the Baan Eieag village. Observe how elephants rehabilitate into forest life after decades of abuse and imagine an environment with happy elephant roaming around the park, the weather is comfortable all year round for the visitor and elephant.

The camps founder, Adulwit khamya, better known as Noi, has created a sustainable habitat for the elephants to live in a safe and natural environment, free from profiteering and neglect. At the elephant park family units are never separated and herbal medicines are used to keep the animals healthy and enjoy a better quality of life.

In 2018, Elephant Retirement Park was cooperating with other numerous elephant foundations. Even incorporated with animal hospitals in Thailand through donating money and supported equipment stuff for treating elephants and aid ailing elephants in every month.

  1. Gathers documents and data in support of elephant preservation efforts for dissemination to agencies and the general public.
  2. Promotes and supports elephant conservation efforts by educational institutions, private individuals, government agencies, and organizations in Thailand and in other countries.
  3. Procures donations in support of elephant welfare, distributes funds to relevant projects, and informs donors
    of how their donations are being used.
  4. Collaborates with other charities.
  5. Is non-political.


Elephant Sanctuary Asia Foundation France Association represents the ESAF (Elephant Sanctuary Asia Foundation) of Thailand, directed by Mr Yanwit Khamya, who has been working for many years for the protection of elephants (whether they are free in the wild, or domesticated by humans in camps, shelters or sanctuaries), and which funds much of the veterinary clinic of Krabi, elephant expert.

The president of the association, Sébastien VERDIER, has been working for 8 years in Thailand to modify the elephant camps for tourists and try to eliminate elephant back rides.

He is at the origin of new programs to take care of elephants and observe them in the great outdoors.

From his meeting and his collaboration with Yanwit KHAMYA several years ago, new shelters were born (Elephant Care Thailand Kanchanaburi, Elephant Retirement Park Chiang Mai and Elephant Retirement Park Phuket) which take in elephants in fragile health situation or at the end of their life, but also young elephants so that they do not have to “work” in classic tourist camps and can have a peaceful life, even near humans.

The mother foundation and its refuges are usually financed by donations from visitors of all nationalities who come to take care of the 70 elephants who live there peacefully.

It was in the urgency of the global situation due to the Covid 19 epidemic that the necessity to create Elephant Sanctuary Asia Foundation France association was born.

Indeed, since the month of March, and the closure of the borders for health reasons, there have been no visitors in the sanctuary, as in classic camps.

We can think that this is a good thing for the animals and that they will be able to live in peace without tourists.

But money is sorely lacking to meet the daily needs of Thailand’s domesticated elephants and keep people to take care of them.

Food, usually bought in large part, is lacking. An elephant eats daily an amount of food equivalent to 10% of its weight (about 200 to 300 kgs per day of banana trunks, pineapple leaves …..) and there are nearly 3000 individuals in all the centers of Thailand and about 1500 to live in freedom.

These animals also require regular care, provided by veterinarians. And today the managers of the various sites can no longer assume these costs.

The situation is really catastrophic now with many elephants malnourished, injured, or sick, and with the desertion of staff.

Our association urgently aims to raise funds to finance the daily needs of these magnificent animals, for our refuges but also for all the sites where they are located.

In the long term, our objectives are to:

  1. To contribute to the awareness among government officials of the importance of the protection of elephants.
  2. Gather documents and data in support of conservation efforts of elephants for their distribution to agencies and the public.
  3. Promote and support Asian elephant conservation efforts by educational institutions, individuals, government agencies and organizations in Thailand, France and other countries.
  4. Collect donations to support the survival and welfare of elephants, directing funding towards relevant projects (related to the cause of defending the elephants) informing tou (te) s donors (facilitators) the way their donations are used.
  5. Collaborate with other charities to support elephant conservation in Thailand and the rest of Asia.