I Love the Elephant
It’s true, I love elephants and Thailand is a country with a rich elephant culture. I had been wanting to spend some time with the elephants, but had heard some mixed stories on how elephants were treated, and wanted to pick an organization that would not be cruel to the animals. My sister Wendy was in town and definitely wanted to see elephants, so I asked and looked around and found Elephant Nature Park.
I called to find out more about them. I asked, “Do people ride the elephants there?” and the reply was, “No show no ride, we are conservation.” Wendy and I repeated this phrase for much of her trip. Elephant Nature Park was the elephant organization for us.
When I went to their office to pay for the tickets, inside were about 10 dogs that had been rescued from the Bangkok floods, a few cats, and a chicken. I commented on the dogs, and the woman told me, “At the park have many animal – dog, cat, pig, cow, many.” Being lovers of all animals, this delighted us further still.
We learned the Thailand only has about 3000 elephants left and there were 33 at this park. All but 3 of them were female. Many were older elephants – some 60 and 70 years old! Many of the elephants here have been rescued from poor treatment. This one was blind in one eye.
After feeding them and seeing them in the field, we got to bathe them.
We witnessed an event that quickly reminded me that elephants are wild animals. An elephant lay down and got caught under the fence. She called for help and the other elephants rushed to help her. So much so that the knocked down a fence like the one you see above.
It felt special to see the elephants act really wild.
I’m sure I’ll visit here and again and volunteer for a while.
In Thai elephants are called chang. Chan chob chang maak!
These elephants are so wise and cute at the same time, what’s not to love?