On the 10th December 2016, we welcomed Dok Gaew, a stunning elephant in her late 60’s. She spent most of her life working hard in the logging industry and then giving rides to tourists in Phuket. She had a deep infected wound on her elbow which required three days of emergency vet treatment before we could transport her to Phuket Elephant Sanctuary.

The following six weeks after her arrival, she was on shelter rest to recuperate and heal before venturing into the sanctuary. She worried us a couple of times this year when she appeared weak, but thanks to Dr Tom from Elephant Nature Park who flew from Chiang Mai to assist us, along with our resident local vet, Dok Gaew is now stronger than ever.

Dok Gaew astounds us with her resilience and determination. She walks slowly and steadily around the sanctuary, living life to the full with her best friends Kannika and Madee. Her mahout Phi Sam ensures she takes it easy and doesn’t walk too far and we encourage her to bathe which she absolutely loves, sometimes spending up to half an hour in the pond.

Life in the forest gives Dok Gaew the peace that she never had before. There is a brightness in her eyes, and she has adapted and socialized beautifully.

At nearly 70 years old, and fondly known around the sanctuary as Grandma, Dok Gaew is impressive, often leaving us speechless when she lifts her legs up high to scratch against the rubber trees!

To read all about Dok Gaew, place #DokGaewElephant into the Facebook search and all her posts from 2016 to present day will be listed. Her story can also be found on our website

If you wish to visit, please book through our website:

Phuket Elephant Sanctuary – Phuket’s first elephant sanctuary on the beautiful island of Phuket in Southern Thailand