Saturday, 27 December 2014


I worried a bit in advance of this one, but it turned out great. When they said there was the option to see elephants, I thought it might be the stereotypical Thai circus style that makes you feel bad about how people use animals to make a buck. This is the better end of it. 

Some elephant veterinary family that's multilingual and entrepreneurial started this, which is basically a retirement home for elephants that labour in the forestry industry. There are 7. They range from 38 to 67. They have wear and tear but seem happy here - one has a kinked tail from and old break, and two have blind eyes from the perils of forestry work. They have small body scars. There are over 10,000 working elephants still. Most retire on the forestry areas. 

These guys and gals stand I. The shade, are fed and pet by tourists, and are taken for their favourite thing on rotation - baths. 

We fed them pumpkin as its in season, and apparently it's one of their favourites. A pumpkin costs 25c which is good as these things make short work of a pumpkin. 

There's one 5 year old that the two nannies to the left and right wouldn't leave without apparently. 

I tried holding pumpkin tight, but it was apparent they really like it, and my hand strength it nothing against a trunk that can lift 250kg. 

They don't need much command for bath time. They know the drill and just b line for the river.  This one is 67. They are so sensitive. I touched it's front toe nail lightly, under running water, and it turned and looked at me right away to see what I was up to. 

They are quiet, but you sure can tell they are sentient, smart, and peaceful.  They probably get they're at a tourist gig, but like baths enough to write that off. At night they just go do whatever they want in the woods. This was a hit with Cindy, who was pretty intimidated by their size, but loves animals.  

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