Trunks Up Santa Barbara

A Benefit for the Elephant Nature Park on Tuesday, April 16

Ashley Bell's documentary, 'Love & Bananas: An Elephant Story'

In an exciting follow-up to last fall’s Santa Barbara screening of the film Love and Bananas animal rights activist and heroic rescuer of elephants Lek Chailert returns to town this Tuesday for a fundraiser to benefit the Elephant Nature Park she runs in Thailand. The film, which stars Chailert alongside actress/activist Ashley Bell, follows the Elephant Nature park team on a wild ride across Thailand in which they race against the clock to preserve the life of an endangered and elderly Asian elephant. Along the way we learn not only about the unfortunate ongoing exploitation of these animals for labor and entertainment purposes, but also about their complex societies and significant emotional needs for mental well-being.

On Tuesday, April 16, Lek Chailert will be at the Juniperro Serra Hall, 2210 Garden Street from 5:30 to 9:30pm. At 5:30 guests will begin arriving at the ticketed event to participate in a silent auction, eat light vegetarian appetizers, and enjoy beer and wine while listening to a flamenco guitarist. At 7pm, a short video shot on location at the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand will screen, and Chailert will speak immediately after that. For those who have not yet had a chance to hear her, the talk will be a revelation. The concern that this woman expresses for her elephants is intensely moving and entirely genuine. She brings a level of urgency to the project that makes it easy to understand how she was named TIME Magazine’s “Asia Hero of the Year.” To learn more about Chailert’s work, visit For tickets to Tuesday’s event, go to


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