A big thank you to my friend and fellow blogger, Jim McIntosh, whose post over on Facebook reminded me that today is World Elephant Day. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I love elephants. In fact, my post of a couple of days ago features one of my favorite elephant shots. Did you know, according to World Elephant Day.org…”The Asian elephant is endangered with less than 43,000 remaining worldwide.” ?? Can you imagine a world without these beautiful creatures? I can’t, but the harsh reality is that it could easily happen sooner rather than later. The folks at WorldElephantDay.org also report that the main market for illegal ivory is China. Boycotting China doesn’t sound like a bad idea to me. I’ve had the privilege of being able to get up close and personal with elephants in Thailand. I have loved every minute and those encounters have made me realize just how special and precious these creatures are. Here are a few of my “elephant shots”, along with some links where you can find out more about these endangered giants and things you can do to help save them from extinction. After learning the ins and outs (or the dos and don’ts) of the Elephant Nature Park, the first order of business is feeding the elephants. What amazed me, was how different each elephant is. Some gobble their food, and then try to steal more from their neighbor. Others eat slowly, savoring every morsel.
Waiting not so patiently….
Then it’s bath time…Always keep your eye on your elephant in case he or she decides to stand up unexpectedly. As gentle as they seem, they are much bigger and heavier than we are. Can you imagine what it would be like to be stomped on…even a gentle stomp?
Heading off to the mud pit to play. The park philosophy is that the elephants don’t need to do tricks to be entertaining. So much for the bath :)
Kiss me quick...
A room with a view…
On the second day we had the pleasure of helping with the feeding and bathing again. Then, it was time to walk along the river bank and into the jungle with the herd. I think the photos speak for themselves.
Patting an elephant in the wild….now how cool is that???
Born to eat…
Enough already; No more photos…
Writing this post has brought back so many happy memories. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. All of the elephants (except the very young ones) come from abused backgrounds. Some have been sold to the park, while others are “on loan” from their owners. The mastermind behind this project and the park is a lady by the name of Lec. She believes in treating the elephants with love and kindness. They are not expected to perform for people, nor be used to give tourists rides. I hope you will take a moment and visit Elephant Nature Park. There you can “meet” the herd, find out how you too can experience a day, a week, or even a month at the park. You can even adopt an elephant! For more information about elephants drop by World Elephant Day.org.
In case you missed Elephant Magic in Thailand.
Have you ever thought of buying a picture for your wall, painted by an elephant? Elephant Art
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