About Us

Founded on patience and peace and built through hard work and trust we are a foundation that works through groundbreaking collaborations with local communities fostering harmony and protecting Asian elephants and the communities that coexist with them.

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Our Mission: Mahouts Elephant Foundation is a UK registered charity dedicated to improving and protecting the lives of Asian elephants.

Our mission is to work toward a shift in attitude within tourism that facilitates the return of captive, working elephants to a protected forest habitat. MEF works on the ground to develop sustainable, welfare-focused tourist experiences supporting the needs and livelihoods of the indigenous mahouts, their families, and local communities, together with the needs of the elephants.

History: Mahouts Elephant Foundation was founded by the Blaine family from England - Sarah, Felix, Joe and Natasha - who are impassioned about the natural world and all animals. In 2008 they travelled to Thailand and part of this trip was spent at a volunteer project which would change their lives forever.

They learned so much about Elephants working in the tourism industry in Thailand. The industry often unknowingly forces mahouts and their families into a desperate poverty trap that few can escape, meaning the families are impoverished and the welfare of the elephant is compromised.

After a decade of experiencing all sides to this complex story, Sarah and Felix Blaine teamed up with the people who know the issues intimately but are often left out of conversations, Karen indigenous mahouts. Together, they came up with community driven solutions that allow mahouts and elephants to thrive together.

Our Work: We work with a unique safari-style model of elephant tourism in direct partnership with mahouts, empowering them with the tools they require to support their families and their elephants in their home village, rather than selling their elephants or employing them to work near big cities. The pilot project works with the Karen hill tribe mahouts in northern Thailand, but it is designed for replication throughout elephant rangeland.