About Maesa Elephant Camp
"Maesa Elephant Camp" 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.
The 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.