Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Elephant Nature Park

By far the coolest thing I've done on my trip was to spend an entire day at the Elephant Nature Park just outside of Chiang Mai. To learn more about the organization you can visit their website.
www.elephantnaturefoundation.org
In a nutshell, the organization was stared by Lek (pronounced leak). A Thai woman who has devoted her life to rescuing and rehabilitating Asian Elephants affected by the tourism industry, the logging industry and other abuses. Her goal is to rehabilitate the elephants and re-introduce them to the wild. The foundation receives no help from the government and survives on donations and visitors to the park. In order to spend a day with the elephants each visitor pays 2,500 baht or approximately $85. Best $85 dollars I've spent. Sure I wont be able to eat for a few weeks (joke parents, don't worry) but it was worth it to be apart of the cause ... and to hang out with the elephants all day.

My first Elephant!


So cute!


They just have a bit of space to run around. 



Yep, I am holding a bunch of Bananas feeding the elephants. 


Elephant pondering the meaning of life. 


Bathing the Elephants cause it's so dang hot!


FYI they can bathe themselves too. 


L-O-V-E. 


Dirty Elephants


Massaging the Elephants


Stroking the Elephant. They have these baby hairs all over, and the texture of their skin is like thick, blubbery sandpaper. If that makes any sense. 


So this is Hope. About 5 seconds after this picture he reached his trunk into that little bucket there and then sprayed me. Right in the face. I protected my camera though so no worries. 


The herd! The older elephants are protective of the babies so we couldn't bathe them and we had to wait until it was safe. 


Taking a bath.


Gettin' muddy. 


Climbing the hill. 


The staff person making the mud abandons his post and heads for the hills! The elephant is king of the mountain. 

Baby!


Me and da baby!


Best. Day. Ever. 

3 comments:

  1. Looks so amazing! Reminds me of South Africa. The texture of an elephant is weird. Good description though...baby hair...thick..blubbery.

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  2. LOVE the photos, LOVE the post!

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