About Us


Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment (E.L.I.E.) is a registered local non-government organization based in Mondulkiri, Cambodia. ELIE’s aim is to improve the health and welfare of the captive elephants in Mondulkiri Province, work to conserve the wild elephants natural habitat and to support the local people who work with these magnificent creatures.

ELIE was founded in 2006 and started by providing veterinarian care and mahout-orientated education to the families and communities that owned captive elephants throughout Mondulkiri province.

E.L.I.E runs a number of programs and projects in Mondulkiri to help achieve our goals, including an elephant research and monitoring program, mobile veterinarian program an indigenous community based organisation assistance program, and an ecotourism project that provides an alternative approach to elephant care, rehabilitation and conservation (The Elephant Valley Project).

ELIE’s office is based in the town of Sen Monorom and located next to the lake on the north-west side of town.

Vision Statement

ELIE’s Vision

“To improve the captive elephant’s health and welfare situation by the development of an elephant sanctuary while providing province-wide veterinary care and associated social support programs for the Bunong people.”


  1. To improve the health and welfare conditions of the captive elephant population of Mondulkiri
  2. To develop a sanctuary for working elephants to rest and retire to in Mondulkiri Province
  3. To conserve the wild elephants natural habitat
  4. To provide employment and job based training to the Bunong community and mahouts
  5. To support the local community to protect their forest and natural resources, the habitat of the elephants.
  6. To identify the main pressures on the community and their forest, and provide community support programs to alleviate these pressures.

Program Summaries

  • Ecotourism Program

    The Elephant Valley Project

    The Elephant Valley Project (EVP) is a sanctuary set up for elephant care, local employment and is an ecotourism site for international and local visitors.

  • Elephant Conservation

    Elephant Rehabilitation & Monitoring Project

    Elephant Monitoring & Health Check

    Trained staff visit communities around Mondulkiri who require vet assistant for their elephants. A veterinarian from the Agriculture department works with our team two days per week and is also available when needed. A database of all captive elephants, their owners and condition is also updated regularly.

    Elephant Rehabilitation

    Elephants can come to the sanctuary on three programs for rehabilitation: short term rest and recuperation programs, long-term compensation programs, and retirement programs. Families come with their elephant to look after them, or mahouts are sourced and trained from the local community of Putrom, also creating more local employment.

    Wild Elephant & Forest Protection Project (Natural Resource Protection)

    There are estimated 140 wild elephants in the Seima Protected Forest that borders the EVP, and to help protect the species these wild elephants are the key!

    Working directly with the Forestry Administration and the Wildlife Conservation Society, ELIE supports teams of local rangers and forest police to patrol this protected forest and the local community area around the EVP.

  • Community Support

    Community Land Titling Project

    Helping the community to the secure their land for future generations is crucial for not only the community, but also to ensure protection of their forests and resources. Completed in 2016.

    Community Health Care Project

    Healthcare is one of the biggest costs for many people across Cambodia, which then puts pressure on the forest or elephants to pay for this.

    ELIE provides universal health care cover to the community members surrounding EVP, as well elephant owners and their families across Mondulkiri. This totals 2,000 + people and is our biggest funding channel.

    School Scholarship Project

    Primarily providing scholarship support for students from Putrom Village to attend highschool in the provincial capital, Sen Monorom. Support packs also provided to the primary school students in all three Putrom villages.

    Community Development Project

    Providing support for smaller one-off projects to the most vulnerable members of the community for example housing support for poor families or protection and boundary marking of sacred sites such as grave and spirit forest.

EVP in Depth

The Elephant Valley Project

In 2007, the Elephant Valley Project was launched as an elephant sanctuary developed to create a home for injured and overworked elephants and is now ELIE’s centerpiece for elephant conservation, which is located within Putrom’s community land. ELIE is unique in terms of its primary source of funding, which comes directly from donations made by local and international visitors to the EVP. Since 2006 the NGO has evolved and grown, with the development of the EVP as a tourist attraction, providing a sustainable financing mechanism for funding all ELIE programs.

A true work in progress, the Elephant Valley Project has become the central location for our works in Mondulkiri.

The Elephant Valley Project is a sanctuary set up for elephant care, local employment and is an ecotourism site for international and local visitors. The main aims of the Elephant Valley Project are to:

  • Provide an alternative approach to elephant care in their natural environment
  • Offer options for local families to bring their elephants to the sanctuary for rest and recuperation. In exchange their owners can receive monthly compensation, preferential working conditions and world-class elephant care
  • Retire and rehabilitate working elephants
  • Provide employment for local people, good working conditions and assistance in protection of their land and resources
  • Have visitors who get to spend time observing these elephants in their natural habitat. Their donations then support the running of the sanctuary and all other programs of ELIE

The Elephant Valley is a series of interlaced rented farms that is surrounded by farms and forest. It allows us to simulate the same environment that mahouts look after and care for their elephants, while providing a large area of forest for elephants to escape human activity for the longest period of time possible during a normal working day. We are lucky that we can combine the support of volunteers and tourists, which in turn allows us to realize our aims.

Current facilities and projects at EVP:

  • Ecotourism facilities for volunteers and visitors including four self contained  bungalows, a big backpacker bungalow, a group house, lounge room, dining room and kitchen.
  • Mahout house and accommodation for the villagers that live on-site
  • Community farming plots including Princess’s Farm, an active rice farm and many many many banana trees, bamboo and pineapples
  • Washing station for elephants (its use depends on season)
  • Seed collection and replanting the elephant forest with elephant edible plants and trees.

Future projects:

  • Reception – work in progress
  • Elephant and Forest Education Centre – partly completed, we plan to finish building this building that will be able to house school group and education groups to learn about the elephants and forest conservation.
  • Building of a nursery and further reforestation project – build a nursery to grow seedlings for reforestation of logged forest and old farmland

Our Team

Local Board of Directors

ELIE is a local registered Cambodian NGO, this means we are governed by a local board.
We have 7 great guys leading us and helping to manage the big picture!

Head Honchos

Our team is spear headed by these three workaholics, who have been here forever and keep the entire show running 24/7 – 365 days a year!

  • Khun Diyon – ELIE Director
  • Jack Highwood – Founder and ELIE Deputy Director
  • Jemma Bullock – ELIE Program Manager

Paper Pushers

The skilled ELIE office staff that keep the whole machine well oiled and running!

  • Gheam Phounda – Finance Officer
  • Kunthea – Administrative Assistant
  • Thim – Cleaner

Community Programs

Our staff that oversees our community health and development programs in the local villages.

  • Sareth Srev – Community Program Officer

Ground Crew

The core of EVP and the people you will interact with most when you come for a visit!

  • Ben Black – Project Manager
  • Chhat Pounlok – Project Assistant Manger
  • Claire Ross – Volunteer Coordinator
  • Connaugh Walsh – Forest and Elephant Interpreter
  • Kherl Touern – Head Forest and Elephant Guide
  • Plil Tonh – Forest and Elephant Guide
  • Soel Phouk – Forest and Elephant Guide

Hefalump Homies

The staff at the Ecotourism Hub in Sen Monorom, handling the behind the scenes nerdy stuff that keeps EVP functioning and relevant and of course all your cake and coffee needs!

  • Tyler Nuckols – Ecotourism and Communications Coordinator
  • Troung Nan – Head Cafe Assistant
  • Chru Srey Tsi – Trainee Cafe Assistant

Vet and Research Team

The staff that keeps elephants healthy and happy at EVP, and provide support for elephants and their owners across Mondulkiri Province!

  • Yel Chan – Elephant Researcher and Vet Assistant
  • Cheng Heir – Counterpart Veterinarian from Ministry of Agriculture


Our skilled professional elephant caretakers, these individuals are the core of our sanctuary and have a deep conneciton with each elephant.

  • Chhaeul Plouk – Head Mahout – Bunong Manager – EVP Co-founder
With our main group of eles, and an every expanding herd coming in for rest and recuperation, we now have an awesome team of core mahouts and are training new guys each year. The team is now 16 strong:
  • Mahouts: Chroed Da, Sraeum Noeun, Yel Yan, Sraeum Yel, Sak Pros, Pyer Sophea, Om Sophorl, Mre Thil, Dav Sroun, Chheol Thouk, Ne Soch, Phrach Den, Blav Thouen, Chroeb Vy, Pluk Nek, Krat Mlo.

Forest Protection

In partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society, the rangers and community work together on forest protection and outreach programs.

  • Chhat Pounlok – Project Assistant Manager
  • Government and Community Forest Rangers

Lovely Cleaners

We could not keep the EVP running without these hardworking wonderful ladies. Often with children in two these girls keep things shiny for visitors!

  • Soel Pjouk – Head Cleaner
  • Cleaners – Yin Chantear, Chroeb Thy, Yan Rai, Soel Nhouk, Marouen Molida, Soel Book, Noeun Niem, Prach Yoy

Master Cooks

The true heroes of the EVP for many, the talented kitchen staff who deliver culinary miracles day in and day out!

  • Chray Keahun – Head Cook
  • Cooks – Saron Krak, Chenda Phorn, Sareth Ngeth, Sareth Sok, Soel Bhouk

Da Boys!

A motley crew we refer to as “Da Boys”; these guys keep EVP and ELIE standing. Our maintenance staff, gardeners, driver, and all around handymen!

  • Day Boys: Chroeb Pha, Pjean Pli, Pjean Reat, Tan Somrech, Touc Sovandy, Reat Ngav, Pye Chhut, Preal Rakaim

Contact Us!


  • Jack Highwood

    ELIE & EVP Founder and Deputy Director 
    – Elephant and conservation related queries
    – ELIE programs, Wild Elephant Conservation, land titling, healthcare and the elephant vet/monitoring program
    – EVP Fundraising and donations
    Email : elieoperations@gmail.com
    – Phone: +855 (0) 99 958 698

  • Jemma Bullock

    ELIE Program Manager 
    – Ecotourism, EVP group sales and partnership queries
    – Marketing and media enquiries
    Email: jemmabullock@gmail.com
    – Phone +855 (0) 99 436 354

  • Mailing

    If your sending snail mail please send to:

    ELIE & Elephant Valley Project
    ELIE House Svay Jek Village Sokhdom Commune
    Sen Monorom Mondulkiri CAMBODIA

    (Please be aware that snail-mail may take a considerable amount of time to reach us, if at all, and therefore there may be a considerable amount of time before we reply. If at all possible when contacting us by this method please be sure to include an email address or phone number contact.)