How Crabbie’s is helping the endangered Asian elephant

Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer is part of Scotland’s famous Crabbie’s brand that was founded in 1801. Edinburgh-born John Crabbie, a keen innovator and explorer capitalised on his access to ingredients from many different nations at the port of Leith. These ingredients included exotic spices and the Asian ginger that is steeped for six weeks, all of which are still used in Crabbie’s products today and are combined with our four secret ingredients to create Crabbie’s unique recipe.


Back then the adventurers used elephants as their transport when abroad, in particular the Asian elephant, which is native to the areas where the famous ginger is sourced.  That’s why the Crabbie’s iconic trade mark is an Asian elephant and why we feel it’s important to help protect these magnificent, endangered animals.


Crabbie’s has partnered with the Millennium Elephant Foundation in Sri Lanka to adopt three elephants at the 15 acre sanctuary, saving them from a punishing life engaged in the logging industry or tourist trade.


Over the coming years, Crabbie’s has committed to fund all the food, shelter and medical bills for the elephants, as well as providing staff uniforms and materials to the sanctuary.


This investment will make a massive difference to the lives of the elephants. We’re excited to get to know our adopted ele’s better, but in the meantime, here’s what we know about them.




Having tourists riding on her back wearing the Howdah (large cage tied tightly around the body, which carries 6 or more tourists at one time) has taken a huge toll on the health of this gorgeous, mischievous animal.

Abandoned by her mum when she was very young, Ranmenika has needed treatment for a variety of ailments, some physical and some stress induced.

However, since arriving at the Millennium Elephant Foundation shelter, she is slowly regaining her love of life again. She is very cheeky and loves to steal the other elephant’s food when no one’s looking! Now retired here due to the funding from Crabbie’s she does no riding at all and only enjoys the leisurely elephant walks.


POOJA (Age: 30)


The ‘baby’ of the MEF centre, although she is now in her twenties, Pooja was born at the centre in 1986, the first elephant born to a domesticated elephant in the country.

She is an animal who enjoys attention and cuddles with her mum, who also lives at the centre.


LAKSHMI (Age: 49)


Pooja’s mum, she is the matriarch of the herd and the official diva of the MEF. Now 50 years old, she is still incredibly lively and often collects food for the others to enjoy.

Lakshmi has starred in many films and documentaries, including the 1981 film Tarzan The Ape Man, starring Bo Derek.


It’s also one way that we like to remember the life and work of John Crabbie, a true pioneer who, more than 200 years ago, had the vision to mix Asian ginger and spices landed at the port of Leith to create his first drinks. We will all raise a glass to that.

We look forward to receiving regular updates and photos from Sri Lanka of Ranmenika, Pooja and Lakshmi over the months and years ahead and will share them all on this page.