Destinations, Thailand, Travel

Photo of the Week: Elephant Nature Park

May 23, 2016

sri-nuan-elephant

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.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Pamela @ Sequins & Sea Breezes May 23, 2016 at 5:49 am

    How cool you get to be so close and work with these amazing animals. So sad what they’ve been through but I’m glad they’re now “retired” and can enjoy some “freedom”. Such beautiful creatures! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  • Reply kerri @ cheshire kat May 23, 2016 at 8:59 am

    i love love this! i really can’t stand when people pay to ride them or visit the tigers to pet them. it infuriates me that people support the abuse of animals and usually don’t even know it. education is key! so wonderful you did this – i didn’t even know it was an option 🙂

    xoxo cheshire kat

  • Reply jillian May 23, 2016 at 9:09 am

    great post! i’ve always dreamed about riding an elephant but as i’ve gotten older i’ve realized that’s probably a bad idea. i’d much rather see them in their natural habitat instead of being forced to carrying around tourists all day long. xo jillian – cornflake dreams

  • Reply Karly May 23, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Again, this is so awesome. I love that these animals are able to be back in their natural habitat and can just live!

  • Reply marie May 23, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    This is so awesome!! I love that they just get to live. That is so fantastic that you got to volunteer there.

  • Reply Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders May 23, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    That’s so awesome that you got to spend so much time with these amazing animals! I never realized how poorly they were treated until I read Water For Elephants and about similar experiences like yours. Research should definitely be key before handing your money over to a company, especially when there’s animals involved.

  • Reply Nadine May 24, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    This is the coolest thing ever!! I have always loved elephants and have thought of them as a majestic creature. When I was little I remember seeing an elephant at a circus and thinking that it wasn’t fair that she was a prisoner to the show and didn’t get to roam free with other elephants. As I am typing this I looked down and realized I am actually wearing one of my elephant necklaces today. Told you, obsessed.

  • Reply Meghan @ Champagne & Suburbs May 24, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Ugh, I love this so much. I HATE what has happened to elephants in the past. Thank you for volunteering and for your message with this post. Enjoy! xo, Champagne&Suburbs

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    Photo of the Week: Elephant Nature Park (8 comments)