Though her name means small or very tiny, Lek Chailert has a heart as big as the mountains of Northern Thailand. Something you can see very clearly in this video from the Unbound Project.
Lek is the founder of the Elephant Nature Park, which is home to hundreds of animals that been victimized or exploited by the logging and tourism industries. Each year, thousands of tourists visit the park to volunteer and help care for the animals instead of riding them or watching them perform. The rewarding experience has promoted compassion, educated the public, and is even creating change in Thailands tourism industry as a whole. Lek’s life didn’t come easy, especially being a woman taking a leading role and speaking out on behalf of Thailand’s animals. Thankfully, Lek doesn’t give up when things get tough.
Her journey to become a voice for elephants started at the age of sixteen when she saw an elephant logging camp for the very first time. This created the drive within her to bring change to the animal and human relationship. Since then, she has inspired a movement of compassion and love towards the animals we share this earth with.
Now, Elephant Nature Park employs former elephant handlers from the logging and tourism industry to care for the many animals that call it home. This is a true testament to how Lek can transform minds and hearts through promoting love instead of hate. When it comes to the people associated with the cruelty and exploitation of elephants Lek says, “Our victory is changing them. Not hate them … You cannot speak to a stranger, but you can speak with a friend.”
To learn more or donate to Elephant Nature Park click here.
Image Source: Kelly Guerin/ Vimeo