Elephant Nature Park

Friday, our first full day in Thailand was going to be spent with some elephants at the Elephant Nature Park. We were pick up from our hotel lobby by a lady named Marissa who would be our guide for the day. It took about an hour driving to different hotels to collect the other tour guests, and then another 45 minutes to drive to the elephant nature park. We saw our first elephant on arrival. Around some of the buildings they have concrete pillars that stop the elephants from getting close, but people can easily get through. Well as long as you aren’t too fat.

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We were introduced to a friendly elephant and got to feed them fruit (bananas, pineapple, sugar cane, watermelon, and some fruit I didn’t recognise).

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We then moved into the building where we fed two other elephants from the ‘safety’ of the balcony. One of the elephants was completely blind so we couldn’t feed them from the ground or someone might be stepped on. As it was the blind elephants trunk started sniffing me and I got too close and it decided to put some mud on my shirt.

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Most of the 34 elephants at the park have been rescued and have some sort of injuries. Some have at least partial blindness and one we saw had stepped on a landmine and had a serious foot injury. The next elephant we met had a foot infection so wasn’t moving much. We feed it and then used a hose to cool it down. The river was too far away for it to walk to. I had fun with hose. If you but the hose out to the end of its trunk the elephant would fill up the trunk with water (about 2 gallons) and then put its trunk into it mouth and spray it there to drink.

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We stopped for lunch. Considering it was vegetarian it was very nice. After lunch we visited a baby elephant who had been born last October. He was very shy and never went far from his mothers legs. When the careers filled up a large tub with water the baby was keen to get in for a swim. However even at only a few months old he was still too big to fit in properly.

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One of the things I noticed was how the buildings were built in a traditional way. Most of the roofs were from thatched grass.

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Now it was time to go to the river to help bath the elephants. The might look small from a distance…

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Armed with my trusty bucket I’m ready to bath the elephants

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I tried to wash the dirt off the elephants head but couldn’t quite reach

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The elephants can do a better job themselves in the river

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A non-elephant sighting was this insect which looked a lot like a leaf.

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And this guy was just showing off….

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Actually he was making a mud pit for the elephants to play in.
After a long day with our new large friends it was time to go back to our hotel.