After a year and half of looking after 30 critically-endangered Sumatran elephants, the Mason Elephant Park has created a dedicated non-profit, Save Bali Elephants, in hopes that people in Bali and around the world can help to support their continued efforts.
The Mason Elephant Park has been a favourite destination for Bali visitors since it opened back in 1997. As part of Mason Adventure Tours (previously Bali Adventure Tours), countless families and fun-seekers have made fond memories of the outdoor experiences the company provides across Bali.
With the success of Bali’s tourism, The Mason Elephant Park has been able to support their rescued herd of peaceful pachyderms, as well as the local village community of Taro where the park and elephants call home. The continued visits of happy guests over the years has been a crucial element to sustaining the health — and happiness! — of these rescued Sumatran elephants. Unfortunately, the pandemic has brought all of that to a grinding halt and for the last year and half, the park’s founding family have been supporting the herd without income.
You might ask, why are there even elephants in Bali? Back in 1997, Nigel and Yanie Mason went to Sumatra and witnessed the destruction that deforestation has had on the elephants’ natural habitat — not only that, they saw the horrific conditions in which the displaced elephants were being kept. So, they set themselves on a mission to transport 24 Sumatran elephants — by land! — to Bali, where they have been cared for and looked after ever since. (The full documentary of this epic endeavour can be watched on YouTube: Operation Dumbo).
Since then, the park has welcomed 6 new baby elephants, born naturally at the park. The park has constantly invested in expansions, developments and improvements to ensure the elephants are indeed given the treatment that they require. In fact in December 2019, the park received a Gold Certification from the Asian Captive Elephants Standards (ACES), recognising the park’s commitment to the welfare and conservation of their Sumatran elephants.
The elephants require a lot of support: the herd of now 30 Sumatran elephants eat up to 250kg of food each day, and require constant care (i.e. the hard-working local villagers) on a daily basis. This is a cost of around $30.000 every single month. The park and the family have been funding this until now, but with little to no sources of income, they now humbly ask for outside donations to help them support these gentle giants.
Nigel and Yanie Mason started this mission almost 25 years ago, and now their sons, Jian and Shan, are continuing their parents’ journey. There are only around 800 Sumatran elephants left in the wild, and whilst in an ideal world all elephants could be roaming free, these natural habitats are quickly disappearing. It is professionally managed places like Mason Elephant Park that create safe and healthy homes for these beautiful, but displaced, animals.
Save Bali Elephants is a registered nonprofit solely created to generate the emergency funds needed to ensure this precious herd can make it through the disastrous effects of this global pandemic. If you are able to help them by donating, please visit their website directly, if not, why not help them spread the word by sharing their heartfelt appeal on Instagram or Facebook: savebalielephants.org.