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The Ayothaya Elephant Village Sanctuary
is based in Ayutthaya the ancient capital of Thailand.
As a direct result of the government wanting to stop elephants being exploited by being taken onto the streets begging for money by their keepers .a sanctuary was established to address this problem and to give a safer enviroment to the elephants and the visitors of Ayutthaya a need to create work / income for the elephants and their keepers was then established here .
have always been highly regarded by the Thai culture throughout their history and have played an important role in building of their country .The elephant is a symbol of the countries wealth ,in the past the King would have have the white elephant as a type of wealth ,the more white elephants he had the more stronger the Kingdom.Today white elephants are still collected by the present King ,and when a white elephant is born ,members of the Kings Elephant handlers come and view the elephant and decide by how white its skin is, if it is granted a Royal elephant status.
With the decline
of the logging industry the elephants and mahouts were faced with a problem. With their only source of income swiftly taken away from them , tourism was the only possible answer to providing work and income for them .Now the working life of the elephant around Ayutthaya is restricted to tourist camps. This itself creates work and a
Income for the Mahout's and their Families ,otherwise they would be forced to Beg on the Street's .
at the Elephant Village are trying to help and make aware of the problems ,walk with them ,talk to them,get to know them ,they each have names and different personalities (and so do the mahouts),not just a ride on the back , a real experience to remember ,a elephant never forgets they say and nor should you .