ATA: Day 6 Elephant Nature Park

16 November 2017

Nov. 4
Day 6

Just. Pinch. Me.

Last night 10,000 lanterns glowing in the night sky.  Today walking with elephants.

We visited a special place called Elephant Nature Park which rescues elephants and provides them with a sanctuary.  There are 70+ rescued elephants at the park and most have a heartbreaking background.

We started our visit by feeding this guy a huge tub of watermelons.   He made a big swipe of my arm before finding his prize.


Each elephant has their own mahout who stays with them all day.


I love the details which really come out in black & white.



Our guide Aie who stayed with us throughout the day.


Brian, who video'd alot of the trip.


It was pretty cool to just hang out with the elephants.


#Elphie



Cute little baby



Does this elephant make my butt look big?


The guys.


The elephant in the back, Jokia,  is blind and was rescued when the park owner purchased her from her previous owner.  Her backstory and reason for her blindness is pretty sad but she has a great life now and a new best friend.


You can see her using her trunk to help guide her. 



Cute elephant butts.



MeRa getting the NatGeo photo.  


Our turn to bathe an elephant.   The little girl in the white asked her mom if she could get her shorts wet...moments later she was full on swimming.


There are also about 500 dogs on the preserve.  Why did the dog cross the bridge?


Aie and me (and Sue).


Like humans, some elephants are friendlier than others.  This one likes to bathe alone.  


And then get covered in mud.


Mom, baby and Auntie.


After nursing, the baby went off to play.



I can guarantee that this area did not smell good.


Making our way around the water buffalos.


The owner of this preserve was shocked to learn that people would pay her to stay and volunteer at the park.   At one point there was a human chain of volunteers sending food from one end of the feeding station to another.  Look at all those bananas!!


Another amazing experience and wonderful day in Thailand!  We ended our evening eating dinner by the river watching more floating lanterns go by.
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