Thursday, April 13, 2017

Elephant Sanctuary

We spent yesterday at Happy Elephant Home, an elephant sanctuary camp 90 minutes outside Chiang Mai that focuses on humane treatment of the elephants rather than using them for work, shows or riding.  First, we geared up in "native clothing," which they said would help the elephants feel comfortable with us (but may have been solely for the guides' amusement).  We served as mahouts (elephant keepers) for the day, feeding these gentle giants bananas and tamarind (which are both like elephant candy).  There were 2 babies under 2 years old, and we had to peel the bananas for them.  We also got to see them nursing on their Mommies--They are just the most gentle, cool animals. We fed them stalks of sugar cane which they chomped and chewed--it sounded like a chipper machine.  We walked them down to the river and helped cover them with water when they weren't spouting water on themselves and us. Scott was strong man and carried extra sugar cane for the group.  Z learned how to whittle the sugar cane down more for the babies.  Lach ate most of his sugar cane.  We then were able to cool off in a swimming pool and had a delicious noodle bowl lunch prepared by the staff.  Seriously awesome day. 

Live report from Whitman here:

Baby Milo

walking down to the river

Chopping our own sugar cane to feed the elephants

Scott- Strong Man

Baby Mina nursing

Sweet sweet Mama

Megan and the elephant whisperer

Chillin in the shade by the river, taking it all in, gnawing on sugar cane


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