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My name is Patrick Rouxel and I’ve dedicated my life to helping wildlife around the world. I am the founder of a not-for-profit organisation called Sun Bear Outreach and I have spent the last 10 years improving the welfare of captive sun bears in Indonesia by building forest enclosures. This has allowed over 100 sun bears to be moved from a life in a small cage to one in a spacious natural environment. I have also created several documentaries highlighting the plight of wildlife and farm animals around the world to raise awareness on rainforest destruction and our accountability as consumers. I am driven by empathy and compassion for the animals.

In August 2023, while visiting the Elephant Conservation Center (ECC) in Laos, I came across a beautiful 8 year old female elephant called Mae Boua Ngeun (Boua). I learnt that Boua had arrived at ECC with her mother when she was just 2 months old and that she grew up at ECC with other tamed elephants, leading a very peaceful and carefree life in her natural environment. She is also ECC’s best candidate for being released back to the wild after she has a calf or two and becomes the matriarch of her own herd.

I recently found out that Boua does not legally belong to ECC but is privately owned by a villager called Mr Khone. In Laos, captive elephants are considered livestock and actually belong to private owners, like a horse or a cow would in the West. Mr Khone currently receives a monthly wage from ECC to care for his elephant at the Center. He is a good man and is kind to Boua, but he now needs money to help his family, and he has no choice but to sell Boua.

He is asking for 75.000 EUR which is the normal market price in Laos today for a young female elephant like Boua, because there is a high demand in the tourism industry for such elephants. Mr Khone wants ECC to buy her, but ECC doesn’t have the funds to do so. If ECC cannot provide the 75.000 EUR, he will take Boua away and sell her to the highest bidder.

If Boua is sold to a third party, she could end up anywhere. Most probably in a tourist camp in Laos or in a so called safari park overseas. She would be torn away from the elephants she grew up with and that she considers her family. She would be spiritually broken and taught to do tricks, then forced to perform them to entertain crowds. If Boua leaves ECC, she might very well become a performing slave for the rest of her life.

I cannot let this happen to such a beautiful soul. I’ve made it my personal mission to save Boua but I can’t do it alone. Please consider helping Boua today. Every contribution will help save her from a lifetime of isolation and pain, and will allow her to continue living a peaceful life with her loved ones and have a chance of going back to the wild.

To find out more about Mae Boua Ngeun, ECC or myself, please have a look at the following links:

On behalf of Mae Boua Ngeun, thank you for your support.


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Patrick Rouxel

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