WHO ARE WE?
The Lao Elephant Initiative (LEI) was founded in January 2018 as a nonprofit, nonreligious, nonpolitical organization. Recognized as a State and Federal tax-exempt, publicly supported 501(c)(3) charitable organization, LEI maintains an office in Denver, CO, and currently supports elephant conservation projects in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
We are working to ignite positive change for wild and captive Asian elephants.
The mission of Lao Elephant Initiative (LEI) is to promote the wellbeing of both captive and wild Asian elephants through education, community partnerships, and innovative conservation strategies.
MAKING THIS HAPPEN
Our work involves a range of conservation and environmental initiatives, including our captive elephant welfare project, and our long-term intent to support wild elephant populations in a National Biodiversity Conservation Area (NBCA). LEI conducts projects and programs internally and also provides grants to organizations that are doing work compatible with our mission.
TAKING ACTION FOR ELEPHANTS
LEI is focused on raising public awareness of the plight of elephants in Laos, working to build a new common understanding of what constitutes ethical and humane treatment and helping make this the new reality.
Learn about LEI's efforts to improve conditions for elephants in Laos.
ELEPHANTS: BORN TO BE WILD
Once known as the ancient Kingdom of Lan Xang, or “Land of the Million Elephants” Lao’s elephant population has plummeted to dangerously low levels. Current estimates indicate that fewer than 800 (wild and captive) now live in the country.
LEI believes every elephant that can live in the wild should live wild. It is their birthright and best suits their fundamental nature. Our work on wild elephants, which will, over the course of the next several years unfold in stages, will focus on providing financial and staff support to an organization and their partners who are working actively in this area. Specifically, our goals are to:
Support population growth of wild elephants living in one or more of Lao’s 23 National Biodiversity Conservation Areas (NBCAs) and strengthen genetic diversity within herds
Address the issue of human-elephant conflict by engaging communities bordering the NBCA/s, establishing park patrol teams, and beta testing new methods of mitigating contact between humans and wild elephants
Document data-driven outcomes and expand monitoring capacity
Work in collaboration with experts, who have had significant success in rewilding elephants, and
Showcase the economic and cultural value of protecting elephants within Lao and the international conservation community.
FEED THE ELEPHANTS PROGRAM
As a result of the crisis caused by COVID-19, the closing of borders and thus the lack of tourists and income, many elephant camps in and around Luang Prabang struggled to feed and care for their elephants.
Learn about how LEI provided help through our "Feed the Elephants" program during these difficult times.
To make an online donation, follow the link below and fill out our donation form. Donate by credit or debit card via secure PayPal checkout.
Restricted/Designated Donations, Grants and Gifts
Any donation, grant or gift you wish to designate or restrict for projects or organizations that are not run or conducted by LEI will be subject to a withholding fee by LEI of 7.5% -12.5% (depending on the complexity of donation). This fee will be used to support LEI's elephant-centric activities and administration of the donation.
Fees will be capped on donations, grants and gifts in excess of $100,000.
DONATE BY MAIL
If you would like to donate by check, please make it payable to Lao Elephant Initiative.
Send donations to:
Lao Elephant Initiative
P.O. Box 612
Indian Hills, Colorado 80454
Please note that if you have a specific project or organization to which you'd like to direct or restrict your donation, we ask you to indicate this in the memo section. If your donation is to be directed to MandaLao Elephant Conservation, please clearly note that, as well.
If you intend to send a check each month as a recurring donation, please include a note letting us know when to expect it.
We value the safety and security of our donors. For this reason, we advise that you do not send credit card information through the mail.
We regret that we are unable to accept cash donations at this time.