There is one word that describes Katherine Connor – the founder of Boon Lott Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand – and that is remarkable! A one time avowed London fashionista and aspiring career gal with The Gap – Katherine went on holiday in Thailand in 2002 and fell in love with a prematurely born baby elephant named Boon Lott (which means survivor). Katherine stayed in Thailand as a volunteer.
When Boon Lott was 6 months old Katherine discovered that he was to be sold to a tourist establishment as a perfroming elephant and his mother Pang Tong sent back to work in the brutal logging industry. A determined Katherine returned to England and raised the money necessary to buy Boon Lott.
Boon Lott was not to have a long life. He hurt his back legs during a fall and though he had some success at recovery – thanks to the world’s first elephant wheel chair – during a second fall Boon Lott snapped a femur. He never stood again. On June 26, 2004, with Katherine holding him as she had so many times – Boon Lott’s gentle heart stopped beating.
In memory of the little elephant who had stolen her heart – Katherine established BLES – Boon Lott Elephant Sanctuary. Despite all the warnings about founding an elephant sanctuary in a foreign country, without government support, Katherine forged ahead and BLES is flourishing. The memory of Boon Lott’s sweet spirit is forever present in the sanctuary.
Katherine stayed in Thailand and married Anon – a young man whom she met while caring for Boon Lott. Together they run BLES. Their 2 children Hope and Noah – are growing up with the love of their parents and the gentle giants who live in the sanctuary!
You can book a stay at BLES to meet Anon – Katherine and the elephants – details are available on their website!
So add that to your “Life Must Do List”
You can help by sponsoring an elephant or donating at their website – www.blesele.org
Katherine with 70 year old Somsri – her latest recsue.