A passionate animal lover from an early age, Louise's love for elephants began in Sri Lanka at just 7 years old, and later observing wild herds on safari in Kenya. Eager to help animals, Louise would donate pocket money to various animal rescue organisations, and a 1986 Born Free membership was where she first learnt about the dark reality of animal cruelty.
from the beginning
A love of animals
Louise left the UK in 1995 to the USA, Australia, and then in 1997 to Hong Kong, working with some of the worlds largest fashion brands before launching her first clothing brand, Mandarin Orange. She also volunteered for Animals Asia Foundation in Hong Kong, where she was inspired by the amazing founder of AAF, Jill Robinson MBE, to dedicate her life to helping animals.
Tree Tops Elephant Reserve
Tree Tops Elephant Reserve is a beautiful sanctuary home for seven retired elephants who formerly worked long hours in the logging industry, or gave rides and performed in shows for tourist entertainment.
Tree Tops is pioneering ethical elephant tourism in the Southern region of Phuket and offers a non-bathing approach, giving visitors a unique opportunity to love and respect elephants by observing as they roam and socialize peacefully throughout the reserve, bathe and play naturally without crowds of people in the water.
Louise Rogerson is Project Director of Tree Tops, this exciting new project that opened in October 2019.
Phuket is one of the busiest tourist destinations in Thailand and Louise has visited Phuket for over 25 years. In 2016, Louise partnered with a former elephant camp owner in the north of Phuket, and with a strong emphasis on animal welfare, Louise bought the first non-bathing project to the island..
Opened October 2019
Louise's vision is to transition elephant tourism by giving visitors to Asia the opportunity to choose a compassionate, gentle approach to experiencing elephants.
Education and awareness is key to change and with a proven ethical model, Louise hopes that other camps in the region will embrace a more compassionate approach for their elephants, and visitors will choose not to bathe with elephants, therefore giving elephants the freedom and space they need to bathe peacefully.
You will find Louise at Tree Tops spending her days in the forest with the elephants, with guests, or one of many cats and dogs!
Kiri and Seila
Kiri and Seila had lived in a small enclosure at Teuk Chhou Zoo in southern Cambodia for over a decade surviving on little food or water. Louise visited the zoo in 2012 and through EARS Asia, pledged to care for these beautiful elephants and fund the expansion of their enclosure, feeding program, veterinary care and staff.
2012 - present
In 2015, the zoo owner H.E. Nhim Vanda announced he was trading his elephants to a zoo in Japan. Devastated at this news, Louise launched a campaign to stop this trade from going ahead. With the support of Voice for Zoo Animals Japan, Wild Welfare, Asia for Animals Coalition, Zoo Check, Born Free, and international public support, the trade deal was cancelled.
In 2018, Kiri and Seila were, however, relocated within Cambodia to Phnom Penh Safari, a tourism entertainment facility, owned by the LYP Group. There is great concern and an ongoing campaign to improve welfare standards and living conditions for the elephants and animals at this tourism facility.
July 2011, a research trip to Cambodia brought about a campaign to help a famous elephant named Sombo (Sambo) who was giving rides for over 20 years at Wat Phnom temple in Phnom Penh. Louise watched as tourists paid to sit in a chair on Sombo's back as she limped around the busy roundabout due to a deep abscess in her right foot.
2011 - 2014
Louise launched a successful letter campaign through EARS Asia to the Cambodian Government which brought about Sombo's retirement. Global support was phenomenal with media coverage in Asia, the UK, Australia and the USA. Seven months later on 31st January 2012, Louise and Sombo's family walked Sombo out of Phnom Penh. An official contract secured their partnership and Louise relocated to Cambodia to oversee Sombo’s medical program funded by EARS Asia supporters. Sombo is now living peacefully in the beautiful forests of Mondulkiri, her working life a distant memory.
In memory of Tong Teh
April 2010, Louise visited numerous elephant projects in Thailand and whilst volunteering at The Surin Project in the northeast, she met a stunning elephant named Tong Teh who changed her life direction. Tong Teh had a broken wrist, could no longer work, and was being starved to death so his ivory could be sold. Sadly, Tong Teh passed away on 24th November 2011. At the time, Louise had lived in Hong Kong for 13 years, but was unaware of the cruelty inflicted to elephants in Asia.
She couldn’t understand why people would want to ride elephants, watch them perform tricks, play musical instruments, or paint pictures. She witnessed baby elephants as young as 6 months old without their mothers with deep knife wounds from training, and elephants as old as 80 still giving rides. Tourists were fueling this industry and more awareness was needed. In 2011, Louise launched EARS ASIA (Elephant Asia Rescue and Survival foundation) a Hong Kong based charity, and in the first year partnered with Nat Geo Wild to air Public Service Announcements throughout Asia.