Elephant Nature Park

September 11, 2013

Pentax K1000, Kodak Portra 400 and disposable 800 ISO camera
Chiang Mai, Thailand, Aug 2013

I'm not sure what to say about the Elephant Nature Park (ENP), except that it was one of the most magical places I have ever been.

Beyond the thrill of touching, feeding, and washing the elephants was the wondrous feeling of being surrounded by these magnificent creatures - and of taking part in a community that is working tirelessly to rescue and nurture an abused and endangered species. It was a special privilege to observe the deep connection between the elephants and their mahouts (trainers) as well as the four hundred rescued dogs residing at the park who, during our visit, were lounging about in the sun, on dining tables, and beside the elephants.

From the ENP's website:

"The Asian Elephant, still known to many as the Indian Elephant, is officially an endangered species. Present numbers have dropped to an alarmingly low level with estimates of under 30,000 left in the entire world. This disturbingly small number of survivors is epitomized by the fact that these gentle beasts have been exterminated from large areas of their former habitat.

In Thailand there is an estimated 3,000-4,000 elephants. Around half of this number are domesticated, the remainder living in National Parks Reserves. Some 300 suffer under appalling conditions in Bangkok."

Sadly, we had only one day at the park, but anyone can visit and volunteer for an extended period of time. This is a special place, and a special cause.

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  1. Really beautiful and inspirational! I especially like the sign at the bottom.


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