Hello and welcome to Bunong Elephant Project, an exciting new ecotourism venture located in Senmonorum here in the wonderful province of Mondulkiri, Cambodia! My name is Chantorn Tear but most people call me Torn! I am originally from Kratie province and fell in love with Mondulkiri and moved here to Senmonorum in 2004. I started work as a tour guide and have worked for ‘ELIE’ who help domestic elephants in Mondulkiri by providing medical care and teaching the mahouts (elephants caretakers ) how to feed and look after their elephants for a better life and future. I have also spent time working at the Elephant Valley Project. While working for ELIE & EVP, I gained a lot of experience from the mahouts who have lived with elephants all their life. It has been my dream to start up my own project for many years now and finally that time has come.
Our aims are simple; to promote the endangered South East Asian Elephant, Bunong Culture and local biodiversity through joint enterprise with the local Bunong (Phnong) people. How? By renting land and Elephants directly from the Bunong people we can protect local forest by creating an area that is managed and protected from illegal logging; this area is used by the elephants where they can retire and rehabilitate from heavy farm work, spend time with each other (Elephants are by nature very sociable) and wander in the jungle just being elephants, eating, having mud baths and relaxing! The benefits to the local Bunong people are multiple: renting land and elephants direct provides the local indigenous people with an income, creates jobs for them, protects the forest from illegal logging and helps to preserve their culture through educating people, both Cambodian and International visitors about their way of life and the pressures they face in todays world! We can do this by providing people the opportunity to visit us and interact with the elephants by observing them in their natural environment. We do not allow elephant riding but you do get to feed and bathe with the elephants if you wish! We have great plans here at the Bunong Elephant Project so check back regularly for future updates and if you have already visited us, then thank you for your support; if you have not yet had the chance then what are you waiting for – get in touch for an incredible opportunity to spend time with our friendly elephants, an experience that you will never forget!
Thank you for reading my blog and I look forward to meeting you soon!
Torn (founder and principle tour guide) ‘Bunong Elephant Project’