Resort Provides Land to Feed Rescued Elephants in Koh Samui

Press Room > 2021

The elephant sanctuary, Samui Elephant Haven is struggling to feed its herd of 21 elephants in the wake of the dramatic downturn in tourist numbers to the island due the pandemic.

As a result of which, Samui Elephant Haven is spending funds previously allocated for land rental to feed its herd, prompting fears it will be unable to continue leasing the land and be forced to displace the elephants.

A land was provided by Meliá resort which opened in Koh Samui early January this year for a community farm, to help feed the elephants rescued from exploitation activities. The farm is located some 200 metres from the resort on the north-eastern tip of Koh Samui island and can support 200 banana trees and other elephant fodder such as Napier and sweet grass.

“These magnificent animals need to eat 10 percent of their body weight in food daily, which is up to 400 kiligramme per elephant,” said the resort’s general manager, Ernesto Osuna.

He added with the sanctuary trying to survive on only five percent of the funding necessary, its herd has been getting only a fraction of its normal food intake.

In the meantime, to educate guests about the plight of the rescued elephants and encourage them to visit and support the sanctuary, Meliá Koh Samui has unveiled an elephant mascot Coco, to provide information about the Haven, as well as a host for educational activities about the elephants at the resort’s kids club Kidsdom.

The sanctuary which opened in 2018 is a safe harbour for elephants that had been put to work on tourist treks, who has been as show animals and in the logging industry. At the Haven, they are free to roam the 10-hectare sanctuary, to play, forage for native plants and bathe in various pools.

To contact Samui Elephant Haven and make a donation, please visit, call +66 95 628 6160 or email

Images are by Samui Elephant Haven.