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The Mahouts Elephant Foundation (MEF) is a non-profit that supports elephants and their Karen mahouts (owners) in Thailand. The goal of Walking Elephants Home, a MEF project launched and run by Becca Winkler ’16, is to collaborate with indigenous people and prove that alternative forms of ethical tourism are possible through a business model that allows mahouts who free their elephants to earn a better income through sustainable ecotourism. Returning elephants to their natural habitat not only drastically improves their well-being but also enhances biodiversity and prevents further deforestation.

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