This post is part of my people doing amazing things series where I highlight people all over the world trying to make it a better place.Elephants have virtually no rights in Thailand, they're treated like livestock despite being very emotional and intelligent animals which means people can pretty much use them for what they want with no consequences.
This means that it's very hard to rescue and look after mistreated Elephants, but that's where Elephant Nature Park come in, they buy injured and old elephants off their mahouts and give them a better life at once of their centres where they're fed, looked after and where they never have to do work or get mistreated by humans.
Back in June I spent 2 weeks just outside of Chiang Mai at Elephant Nature park and getting to see these beautiful creatures up close and to work with them (even if a lot of that was cleaning up their poop) was amazing.
When I visited there were a total of 72 Elephants at the park outside of Chiang Mai which means a lot of food to prepare and an awful lot of poop to clean.
Daily tasks included unloading 4 tonnes of watermelons from trucks (yes they eat that a day), preparing soft foods for the old elephants who have no teeth; picking up poop; weeding the park; and going to cut corn in local farms.
People also just visit for the day or over night and get to wash the elephants helps with their tics, and give them some food.
You can tell the mahouts that have good relationships with their elephants, you can see the love they have for each other and the strongest bond had to be between Jang Pen and her mahout Patee. They've been together for an incredibly long time and every morning Patee puts a flower in a hole Jang Pen's ear which was made by a hook. She looks very cute with it.
I got to walk a few of the dogs while I was there, I mean with 400 dogs there's a lot of walking to do, and they were all so sweet and so excited to go out. I also met a few dogs who were so so scared which is extremely sad but it's amazing knowing that people are taking care of them and they might have a proper home one day.
The park is also home to load of buffalo who were saves from slaughter houses and who are very cute, it's a busy place.
The centre also makes sure to try and pay the mahouts and other workers at the centre well, the wage for these jobs in Thailand is pretty minimal but the centre works with the mahouts to support their families with rice every month as well as paying them more than they'd get in other similar jobs.
There are so many other posts I can and will write about elephants and the park which are to come in the next week and further in the future (I won't make it all about elephants for now I'll save some for later on) but for now I'll just leave you with this rave review and the video below which shows a bit what I got up to during my stay there.
So I hoped you enjoyed this post, there are a few more to come in the next couple of weeks before I leave elephants behind for a while (I promise they'll be back) and move onto Cambodia. I'll be talking more about why elephants shouldn't be ridden and about some of my favourites at the park, including a 2 month old, and how wonderful elephants are. I have so much to talk about, there were so may wonderful experiences crammed into two weeks. But that's it from me for this post. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Oh and if there's anything in particular you want to know about Elephants or a bit more about Thailand then let me know and I might just make a post about it.
Thanks for reading!