Biggest baby elephant...EVER!

Trip Start Oct 19, 2011
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Trip End Dec 12, 2011


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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

so we have spent the last three days working with what we thought was going to be a baby elephant...on arrival, so called 'baby elephant' was not so 'baby!' but absolutely massive! Her name is fewani and she's 6 years old, which in elephant years is still very very young. They are not used for work until they are at least 20. She was born in chitwan and lives with her mother at a privately owned farm, unlike most of the elephants here that are owned by the government. She has a great little character, very cheeky and will do anything for food! She sucks on her trunk as a sort of comforter. Her treatment is good, considering how poorly most other animals are treated here. She is chained up when back at the farm, but she gets bathed in the river every day and taken out for a walk in the afternoon. She is fed/watered whenever she wants feeding.

The last three days we have learnt how to make elephant biscuits - bundles of hay filled with corn (she eats approximately 200 per day). Every morning we have taken her down to the river and bathed her. This is enjoyed by all of us! Yesterday Ross rode fewani down to the river and i rode the mother(almost double the size!) with her mahud. This was an absolutely amazing experience and something we would never be allowed to do in the uk due to health and safety! However, I did find myself considering how many injuries I would incur if I fell off the mother! Bath time was amazing, swimming around in a river with two incredible beasts, they loved being scrubbed and splashed! Although the elephants are trained for years before they will allow them to have contact with the general public, they are still very much wild animals at heart - only really doing what the mahud demands if it's what they want! So although they appear very friendly and calm you always need to be aware of their strength and very apparent stubbornness!

Later yesterday afternoon we went elephant driving!! This was basically like learning to ride a horse but on an elephant! We were taught some on the commands - go forwards, backwards, inside etc (most of which she refused to do)! Nevertheless, galloping on an elephant across chitwan national park was an unforgettable experience and also one that left us pretty bruised but completely worth it.

Today we made more elephant biscuits and had a long bathe in the river with fewani in which she decided to squirt water in my eyes, ears and mouth (whilst I was on her back), really hope don't get water poisoning again! Ross was walking like John Wayne today - bare back elephant riding is not overly healthy for men :p

We spend midday and evenings relaxing at the guest house, or down by the river spotting for crocodiles. The weather has been incredible the last few days - averaging around 30 degrees. As we are now resident 'mahuds' or 'elephant drivers' as we are now known by the local community, we also eat like the locals... You guessed it dhal bhat is once again back on the menu for dinner every night! Everywhere we go they are so interested to know what they think of 'their' rice, but to me, rice is rice and i can't tell the difference between rice here or the rice we have at home! One thing is for sure...I will not be eating rice for my first meal when I get home or for several meals after that!
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Comments

Jeff on

Great photos Naomi can we see a photo of the dhal bhat ? xxx

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