Brief History

Maetaeng Elephant Park and Clinic in Thailand : A History of Love, Care and Progress

They say an elephant remembers everything. Digital Art NFTs may be relatively new – brand spanking new in the case of elephant art – but search the memory of any old elephant in Thailand and you’ll see why joining the BitTrunks community can legitimately progress how they live and are cared for. 


Let’s leap back to 1989, when a tremendous milestone was marked on the timeline of elephants in Thailand. That year, logging was banned, and thus an industry that abused elephants for their physical labor was slashed overnight.

The elephants were free! But, for many of these majestic creatures, there was nowhere to go. Countless elephants and their mahouts (primary caregiver) were forced to roam the streets of Thailand’s cities for money. Worse yet, others had to enter the remnants of the, now illegal, logging industry. The majority of these elephants were from bloodlines domesticated generations ago, and reintroduction into the wild was impossible. 

Maetaeng Elephant Park and Clinic : A History of Love, Care and Progress
How elephant painting started in Thailand.


In 1996, the Chailert family opened the first incarnation of Maetaeng Elephant Park, envisioned as a place that was self-sustaining, with money paid by visitors to the park going toward giving the elephants vastly improved living conditions compared to before. And thus, a journey of ongoing progression and development began. 

By 2000 elephant art was already a part of the park’s list of attractions, and the Chailerts decided to allocate those funds into having onsite medical supplies, greatly cutting the wait time for aid when basic ailments arose.


In 2006, the park’s first elephant clinic began to take shape. Rudimentary but beneficial, some primary care was available and now pregnant elephants could be monitored on site in a safe environment.

Then, in 2009, it was time to take a giant step into the future. The benefits of a fully equipped onsite clinic could no longer be ignored. With so many elephants in the area, having access to medical care with proper infrastructure, on-staff veterinarians and mahouts with decades of experience in elephant behavior was a no-brainer! It was only possible through the gracious support of various charities, volunteers and local businesses, but the dream was finally achieved.

And the best part? The clinic is FREE.

Elephant clinic and hospital in Thailand.


So, on one hand, buying an Elephant Art NFT is an investment into what is easily some of the most unique paintings on the planet. The pieces are head-turning. Gorgeous to behold.

But there’s so much more and so many people behind the canvas. You’d be one of them. A BitTrunker who stepped up and opened the door into a brighter future for the herd. For the old elephants and the ones yet to be born. It’s not just a purchase, it’s a contribution. And one that none of use will forget.