I had the opportunity to get Close up and personal with elephants in the fascinating Elephant Nature Park of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand.
This incredible rescue center is also currently home to over 40 dinosaurs with backgrounds as street attractions and employees in the logging transaction. A visit to Elephant Nature Park is a fantastic day trip in Chiang Mai’s city, and perfect for animal lovers of all ages interested in interacting with all such giants. This is some information regarding the playground, just how it came to exist, and guest details.
Working Elephants’ Dark Side
The Elephant Whisperer, meet Lek
When you have ever visited Thailand you understand that elephants can be used for riding street begging, and street shows, and if this seems cruel, a much more sinister practice is going on in the logging sector of Asia. Back in Myanmar and Laos Asian dinosaurs have been used to pickup and haul heavy logs. These”timber elephants” are oftentimes abused, maimed, and severely injured at work.
Around Elephant Nature Park
The hierarchical connection of the gentle yet stern mahout and his elephant has given way to competitive handlers employing any barbarous means necessary, including beating and interrogate the elephants in order. Elephant Nature Park is one of several rehab centers in the entire world that participate in aging, overworked, and crippled timber elephants that have managed to survive this job.
Why Should You Visit Elephant Nature Park?
This is where Sangduen”Lek” Chailert comes in. Lek assisted found the sanctuary in 1996. She advocates for the rights and welfare of all Asian elephants in Thailand. Lek has been honored for her work by Time Magazine, the Humane Society of the USA, and by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as among six Girls Heroes of International Conservation in 2010. She spent around an hour with me during my visit explaining why she started the Save Elephant Foundation and why visiting the Elephant Nature Park is a rewarding experience for people.
I saw first-hand why they predict Lek that the”Elephant Whisperer.” Lek does it with just as much ease as we would walk as much as a mess of dogs while most of us are fearful to approach a herd of elephants, some of which are blind. She has no qualms about squeezed between two enormous pachyderm bodies being prodded by colossal trunks at one moment, or sniffed up and down by hungry elephants who know she has snacks in her back pack. Not once was she harm by them, and never did she have to tell them to not.
Elephant Nature Park is the elephant rescue and rehab center in the nation, and they have plans to enlarge the playground boundaries so that the elephants have more room to roam. Presently there are over 40 dinosaurs residing here, the majority of which were rescued in the logging industry. Visitors may come for a week, one night, or even the day to volunteer. The park is also home to buffalo, birds, cats, and several dogs.
I did that the single full day visit ($77), that included pickup along with drop-off to my resort in Chiang Mai, buffet lunch in the playground, and also an unbelievable day spent amongst the world’s largest land animals. Elephant Nature Park is extremely protective of their place, therefore it isn’t feasible to drive there yourself. You dropped them off and must get picked up.
Upon arrival we were split intro bands and escorted on a long concrete platform. Big buckets of fresh veggies there waited, and so were the dinosaurs. I was given the opportunity see them eye-to-eye for your very first time and to admire their strength by feeding these giants. I saw the bodily trauma lots of these dinosaurs experienced as timber elephants during their times. Many are blind due. Others limp and shuffle because of too much strain.
I discovered volunteers helping out across the playground while I was there. Clean, they can remain for as much as two weeks to help feed , and care for other resident animals and the elephants. Elephant Nature Park relies from the public.
After lunch (a delicious buffet spread of Thai and worldwide meals ) we were directed down to the lake for bathroom time. Because they are fed by a park keeper each group of people have to bathe a set of elephants. They had a fantastic long dust tub to help keep the insects at bay.
Subsequently Elephant Nature Park is for you if you are into feel-good stories with happy endings. Tourism isn’t always suitable, but it’s. A day is a way to become acquainted with these extraordinary creatures, which are an essential part of Thai culture representing humility, faith, and power.
Not only will you get to feed, bathe, and touch them, you’ll learn so much in their species, so their plight, and what steps we all can take to help save them. For starters, we heard to not encourage working elephants in the street. Elephants standing by for a picture opportunity or have been begging for food, don’t fuel their mistreatment by encouraging. Elephant riding is also a frequent tourist activity in Thailand, however one that is actually cruel and violent. Elephants are not made to work for all of us. Their own power has been exploited by Individuals to their advantage, and now the species is currently suffering tremendously. It’s unlikely the money is being used by their keepers. Each elephant demands several dozen kilos of fresh produce each day, but odds are they aren’t getting what they require. Elephant Nature Park teaches tourists what signals to look for to recognize elephants in distress in order that we don’t unnecessarily cause them pain or suffering by encouraging their owners.
Things for the better are changing and encouraging us all to possess an amazing day with happy and free elephants.
Check out more information about Volunteer Work With Elephants in Thailand.
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