Good News for Elephants!

Compassion for Elephants

Elephant Nature Park Thailand

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A special dream of mine came true in January this year, as I got to feed, bathe and walk with a herd of Elephants! This was made possible through the ‘Elephant Freedom Programme’ run by ‘Elephant Nature Park’, in Northern Thailand.

The herd had recently been rescued from the tourist trade, where just days before they would have been chained, beaten and forced to work. Knowing this, it was so wonderful to see them now free to experience humans in a more nurturing way.

It was especially delightful to witness how social and playful they were. They called out to each other in a high pitched noise that was reminiscent of something from Jurassic park! They had a unique grace and the wisest, most profound eyes.

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 I was able to spend a few moments in deeper connection with a Mother Elephant which was very special.

During our bathing time, two elephants in the distance caught my attention. They were forging their way down a steep hill, chained to their Mahouts, with tourists piled on their backs. I felt a deep pang of sadness at this sight.

Unfortunately there is a real lack of awareness of how cruel the tourist trade can be; promoting practices such as Elephant riding when Elephants’ backs are not built to carry this weight.

Our programme leader, Koy, filled us with her positive energy and hope that with more education and public support, things will change. So I share my experience to raise awareness of these ground breaking Nature Parks!! There are others in Cambodia, Myanmar and possible development in India too. I truly hope this is the start of a more compassionate era for wildlife tourism. Please feel free to share.

To learn more visit: https://www.elephantnaturepark.org/
Read article: Can Elephant Tourism be more ethical

The Lonely Planet Guides now have sections on “Ethical Elephants Adventures”.

 

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