Why we chose the name Somboon Legacy Foundation.
Somboon was a one of a kind beautiful elephant, which you would recognize immediately by her thorn ears.
She was rare as her body was perfectly proportionate. That is why she was named Somboon, which means complete in Thai language.
Like most captive Asian elephants she led a hard working life.
Her ears showed the marks and scars that are typical for elephants that have worked in the logging industry. Branches would poke her eyes and cut her ears while dragging heavy logs out of the dense forest with chains that were harnessed to her body.
After the government banned the use of elephants in the logging industry in 1989, her owner had to find other ways to earn his money and Somboon started working as a trekking elephant. Day in day out she had to carry a heavy seat full of tourists on her back for their entertainment.
About 20 years ago her new owner gave her the retirement she deserved and she met her best friends Malee and Kammoon.
They could always be found together and became well known as the three musketeers.
The last years of her life she and her friends lived at a sanctuary. Her owner had placed them there convinced they would live a good life. At this sanctuary Somboon opened the eyes of a group of elephant lovers showing that a sanctuary is not always a good place for animals. In the last couple of years, it is a misused name for places where elephants still are used for entertainment of tourists.
In 2016 after her tragic and unnecessary death the same group of people decided it was enough and that they were going to start a park where elephants are treated with respect and simply can be elephants by living happily in the surroundings of mother nature. A group of Thai people from The Legacy River Kwai resort believed in their plan and a beautiful cooperation was started.
We did not have to think hard about the name for our project as this idea all started with the love for elephants and in remembrance of our beautiful Somboon (complete), this is her Legacy. The second name “legacy” also shows our gratitude towards the people of the River Kwai Legacy Resort.
Today we are so happy that we can offer Somboon’s friends Kammoon and Malee the life they deserve; the best we can offer to domesticated elephants. In their hearts and ours, Somboon is still here with them (in spirit) roaming the green fields of the Somboon Legacy Foundation.