Today I Made 7 New Friends

"The elephant is a friend of man.
More than the dog, it's constant.
And now indeed our turn has come
To be the friend of the elephant."

~ Paul Hippeau

Today, I made several new friends, and they just happen to be elephants. Elephant Nature Park is a sanctuary and rescue center for elephants in Mae Taeng District about 1.5 hours outside of Chiang Mai. Founded in 1996, the centers goals are to provide a haven for distressed elephants from all over Thailand. The park has rescued over 40 distressed elephants throughout Thailand and neighboring countries. Most elephants have been rescued from street begging, logging, or tourism others were disabled, orphaned or blind. In addition to elephants, they have rescued over 400 dogs and 200 cats.

With such a beautiful cause and exciting experience, I wanted to spend at much time as possible with the elephants, so we chose Pamper a Pachyderm full day experience. Pamper a Pachydermn is an elephant camp neighboring the park that is partnering with Elephant Nature Park to start their sanctuary. Once we arrived at the park, we immediately were handed bananas, sugar cane and bread and 5 elephants in the herd and 2 others from another came over for us to feed them. The oldest of the group is over 70 years old, while the youngest was only 4. We hiked with them through the jungle low lands for about an hour, feeding them and loving on them along the way, till we reached our amazing lunch site that gave us a beautiful vista of the sanctuary.

Kissn' the baby
This is Grandma, she only eats bananas because she doesn't have any teeth

bath time 

My new friends
The view of the park from lunch

D made a friend too

While we were walking back, again feeding the elephants along the way, we stopped at the river to help bathe them.

Washing Grandma

This woman, Muoy, is the owner of Pamper a Pachyderm
Lastly, we drove up further into the forest along the river to go rafting! We totally did not expect to be doing this, but it was such a great way to see the stunning natural scenery of the country.

It was so beautiful being able experience these gentle giants up close in a respectful way while spoiling them after all of the horrible atrocities and abuses they have endured at the hands of humans.


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