From my personal Facebook account this week:
For the past week we’ve been volunteering at Elephant Nature Park in Northern Thailand. Our duties have included prepping elephant food, planting trees, cleaning up elephant poo, cutting grass and corn, and bathing the elephants.
Most all of the elephants at this park have been rescued from the logging and tourism industries. These elephants have been physically and mentally abused for most of their lives. Elephant Nature Park provides the sanctuary and rehabilitation services for these elephants to “retire” and live the rest of their time with dignity.
Last night we had the pleasure of hearing Lek, the founder of ENP, speak with incredible passion and drive to help spread awareness of elephant abuse.
As my plea, I just ask that before participating in elephant tourism (rides, circus, even simply paying to feed the elephant) research and vet the company that you’re about to hand your money over to. Ask yourself whether the activity benefits the animal’s welfare. After spending a week observing the elephants in a near-natural environment, I can tell you it’s incredible to see these magnificent creatures living amongst their families without pressure to ever perform.
Lek and her team have done an amazing job at ENP. I highly encourage everyone to check out their website (elephantnaturepark.org) to learn more.