Dollars for DeeDee (& Friends!)


A bull hook. A heavy metal chair. Painful tusk removal. A 14+ hour workday parading tourists around. With little time to eat, baking hot conditions, and exhausting hours, this is life 365 days a year for most elephants in South East Asia.

With your help, it ends now.

Elephants are forced to live like this because of the tourism industry’s demand for cheap rides and photo ops. The good news is that by changing the demand we can end the abuse. Across the river from The Chai Lai Orchid, 11 elephants live and work. Four of those elephants, including DeeDee, are babies.  While they are too small for chair rides now, they will soon grow up and join their friends in their backbreaking toil. It doesn’t have to be this way though. With your help, we can change the tide of tourism in Thailand.

Lao Tzu says, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

It has always been our dream to rescue DeeDee and her friends. While we have struggled to watch the elephants we love be overworked and paraded around wearing chairs (learn more here about how chairs hurt elephants), we knew that by continuing to bathe them, love them and buy them time off, we could set an example of humane treatment for elephants.

With your help, we have the opportunity to changes the lives of these elephants forever.

For $9,000 USD a month we can rent the elephants and show the current owner that tourism won’t die without chair rides and bull hooks. We can show him that tourists want, and will pay, for elephants baths and feedings. We aim to create a peaceful home for the elephants where they spend their days grazing in the bamboo forest, cooling down with baths in the river and going for leisurely walks. (You can read the specifics of our mission here).

Dollarsfor Dee Dee from James Dougan Films on Vimeo.

We need to raise $54,000 USD for 6 months to do this.  

If we can reach our goal, our staff will oversee all treatment of the elephants and the mahouts. We can use this small step of caring for DeeDee and her friends to impact the surrounding elephant villages, and maybe one day, elephant treatment throughout Asia. By teaching locals and tourists about humane and ethical treatment for elephants, we can get rid of chair rides and bull hooks for good.

Will you help us change the tide for elephants? DeeDee and her friends need your help!

Here’s How:

Funding. Renting, and buying elephants costs money. Any donation you make goes directly towards DeeDee and her friends. Donate online or in person when visiting The Chai Lai Orchid. All donations are tax deductible and donations over $500 USD will receive a free stay with DeeDee and her friends at The Chai Lai Orchid!

Awareness. Tell your family and friends. These elephants might be loud, but they can’t speak our language. Use your voice to spread to word about their plight. Share about DeeDee on social media. Use the hashtag: #DontLetDeeDeeDown

Tweet at Ricky. Ricky Gervais is a huge advocate for animal rights and we want him to come meet DeeDee! We’ve created some fun pictures you can share. Let’s encourage him to use his influence to help us move forward! Use our hashtag, #DontLetDeeDeeDown and send him our Dear Ricky letter.


Important Disclaimer: This image is photoshopped. Ricky has not visited DeeDee yet. It is only intended to show Ricky that he would fit right in here and have a lot of fun if he did.


Visit. Planning a vacation or know someone who is? Come to Chai Lai! We have 9 beautiful, natural guest houses in northern Thailand and you can meet DeeDee and her friends first hand.

Don’t Let DeeDee Down. DeeDee and her friends say “Thank You!” 

©2012-2014 the Chai Lai Orchid