A day with the elephants..out of this world

Trip Start Nov 15, 2009
1
32
112
Trip End May 20, 2010


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elephant nature park

Flag of Thailand  ,
Tuesday, January 12, 2010

we spent the day today with the elephants at a nature park ,north of chiang mai..

i cant say enough good things about it....it was a day to remember and we are so glad we chose this place to see the elephants...the owner is a thai lady ..her name is lek...which means small in thai...shes tiny...but shes a giant when it comes to saving elephants lives...she started 10 years ago with 4 elephants and now has 32...shes created the most amazing sanctuary for these fantastic creatures....

our tour guide..earn..yes her name is earn..(i kept wondering where eric was?) was fantastic..she spoke good english..had a friendly manner and was very informative...she made the day even better....she also did a quiz and kate won me a tshirt!! well done kate!!
she told us how the project helps not just the elephants but the local community as well..they employ 70 locals..and the buy all the food locally as well....ie 14 trucks of bananas pumkins and melons...you have to see the video i posted..they can eat for 18 hrs a day!!!

most have been injured or mistreated before getting to her....some have terrible stories...one heartbraking story is of one female who was used for logging in northern thailand..she was pregnant and the baby died as she wasnt allowed to care for it...she wouldnt work and refused to move as she was mourning the death of her baby....so the owners beat her and tragically she was blinded by them....but......
since being at the park shes been adopted by another older female who walks with her everywhere and is her eyes as she moves around the park..now at least she has a peaceful loving life in the most beautiful scenery up in the hills...

they have 2 baby calfs in the herd and they just melt your heart...we got to feed them...and boy can they eat!!!!! they just dont stop....

and we got to take them down to the river and wash all the mud from their backs....just in time for them to get out of the river and cover themselves in mud again!!!!

100 years ago there were 100,000 elephants in thailand....today there are 5000!!! its shocking that the animal thats the symbol of thailand has ironically been destroyed by the very people who worship them?

but at least its great to know that all the money we have paid goes straight to the foundation and they have already started to build another sanctuary even further into the countryside and hope to care for more elephants soon...the park itself costs 250,000 dollars a year to run!

they have also created a place called elephant heaven..even further north....its a place where they can roam free and she hopes to introduce them back into the wild over  time....one way of ensuring that the tress around the santury are not cut down has been very effective...they have got the local monks to come and....bless the trees..then they tie the monks burnt orange cloth around the trees.....in thai culture very bad things happen to you if you were to cut a tree blessed by a monk!! so this has created a virtual perimiter around the elephants...


we will post the photos and videos soon and im sure you will all love them......
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Comments

A. Kathy on

You lucky couple! those elephants are just so wonderful. You've taken some great pics Kate, I might just have to draw one or two! xxxxxxxxxx

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