30th April 2017
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Today was one I have been looking forward today for a long time, the elephant nature park. After doing some research it was clear that there is a lot of elephant tourist attractions, like the circus or getting them to paint, play football etc. They are also used for illegal logging. But to train them and to get them to a point of submission is pure cruelty. On the way to the park we were shown a video of how the animals are broken in. Such wise animals treated like that is literally torture. They are chained up, beaten and even burnt. It’s like Guantanamo bay for elephants. You can see pure fear in their eyes, even still when they are performing for tourists. They don’t dare disobey the owner as they know it can lead to pain. The worse thing is that the owner can do as he pleases with his animal. By law he owns it. He can micro chip it and train it anyway he wants except illegal logging. But they still do.
Usually black in colour but they cover them selves in mud to cool down.
A Good Cause
The elephant nature park is a great organisation that was set up to give the elephants the life they deserve. Although the park has to bargain with the owners and pay for ownership. Up to 6 million baht for male elephant with long tusks. But once at the park no one can hurt them as they belong to them. The park is home to 70 elephants, water buffalo, cats and dogs that were recused during the floods in Thailand, over 200 dogs. All animals live together in harmony, except they need to keep some elephants separated as some just don’t get on, just like humans.
The male elephants are rowdy so only female elephants are allowed to be petted and pampered by guests. Although still quite submissive due to their past and training they a lot happier and you can see that in how they approach the humans. Usually for good. No food no friend as our guide said. happy now. People who work there love these animals.We started the day by feeding the elephants fruit and veg. A herd came up to the platform including a little baby hoping for some tasty treats. They eat 10% of their body weight, so 3000kg elephant will eat 300kg of food. That’s average for a female. Males can be up to 5500kg.
They loved the sweet stuff
Up close and personal
After feeding we took a stroll down into the grounds where we got up close and personal with a couple of female elephants. As we got down there one of them was a right diva and came right up to me. Clearly wanted to be on camera. She was a little poser with flowers in here ear, like a little hippie elephant. Surreal how close we could get to them. This was only possible because of their training at the hands of humans. But still better life than what they had. After that we walked around the grounds meeting various elephants. Some blind because of the stage lights, some with broken legs due to logging but all living the life an elephants should now. They are free to do as they please.
After lunch we headed to the river where we bathed the elephant throwing buckets of water over her. She was a new recruit to the park still getting use to her freedom. But with some food at hand she stayed a while so we could wash her and cool her down. Beautiful creature.
Loved being pampered
Next we headed down to see some baby elephants take a dip in the pool. It was so hot I wanted to go and join them. The baby just wanted to play with his brothers and the rest of the herd but all they wanted to do was cool down. Don’t blame them. Once in the pool the minders shut the gate however being the clever animals they are one was able to unlock it. That same elephants using his trunk picked up the hose pipe that was used to fill the pool and pointed it at him self to cool off and get himself a drink.All in all a very informative day and something I will never forget. Let’s just hope that word spreads that behind the scene of these tourist attractions is torture and cruelty to these ancient beasts. If you are planning on taking a trip to see the elephants, check out the Elephant Nature Park . It was well organised and not too structured. They trust the gentle giants even with small children. We had an excellent guide called Pom who’s knowledge was next level. He answered every questions asked by the group and it was clear he had a passion for these great animals.
High light of the trip so far.
Peace and love family x