Past, present and future
In southern Thailand, it is common for elephants to work in riding camps during the tourist high season, and be used for strenuous logging work in low season. As an alternative to riding and logging, Ray began educating visitors about mahout culture and elephant behavior. Positive feedback inspired him to wonder if his venue could function solely with these programs, but the tourist demand for riding was still the only consistently profitable option at the time. In 2017, Ray met World Animal Protection and began the transition towards an elephant-friendly business model.
Under a sustainable tourist program and new name, Following Giants now actively partners with World Animal Protection for on and off-site training, infrastructure development, constant evaluation, as well as continuous improvement for the welfare of the elephants and surrounding nature. The resident elephants have given their last rides and lifted their last logs. It’s now time for us to follow these gentle giants as they lead the way.
Ray’s vision is for Following Giants to be a special place for learning about the traditional mahout-elephant relationship, and where visitors, like you, can join his mission to protect and restore Koh Lanta’s forest for elephants and other wildlife found in the neighboring Mu Koh Lanta National Park.