Shortly after the State Visit of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and H.R.H.
Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh to Thailand in 1996, H.M.
Queen Sirikit announced her intention to initiate an elephant
reintroduction project, to offer an alternative future for domestic
elephants, one in which they will live out their remaining life
in the forest, away from humans, as nature intended.
The reintroduction process
started on 14th January 1997 when Her Majesty Queen Sirikit released
the first three elephants - Bualoi, Boonmee and Malai. The second
release of two elephants - Sangwan and Khamnoi, was made by Her
Majesty on 10th February 1998. Then on 19th February 1999 Her
Majesty also released Khammoon and Plaisong. In 2000, Her Majesty
presided over the entry of a further 16 elephants into the release
programme, and in 2001, H.M. Queen Margarethe and H.R.H. Prince
Henrik of Denmark (President of WWF Denmark) released one additional
On 13 May 2002, H.R.H
Prince Philip granted an audience to the Thai Prime Minister H.E.
Taksin Shinawatra, at Buckingham Palace. HRH discussed elephant
conservation in Thailand with the Prime Minister, and praised
the initiative of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, in starting the reintroduction
project. H.R.H Prince Philip wrote a letter to Queen Sirikit,
offering WWFs support to establish the Elephant Reintroduction
Foundation, and the Foundation was legally registered on August