CMN: Lek Chailert on her Elephant Sanctuary (June 2009)
Sangduen Chailert, known as Lek (which means small in her native dialect), relates her story and discusses her passionate quest to provide sanctuary for elephants who have suffered a lifetime of abuse and harsh working conditions.
Lek was born in a remote mountain community in Northern Thailand, where her maternal grandfather was a tribal man of the forest. Her jungle forays with him led to an early and organic understanding of the wonders of nature. When Lek was 5, her grandfather was given an elephant as a gift for saving a man’s life and it is from this early interaction with these majestic animals that Lek developed her inutitive understanding of their vast intellgence. Elephants are known as “Earth’s Record Keepers” as are Whales for the sea.
Lek founded Elephant Nature Park in 1996.