Birthday at Elephant Nature Park | Chiang Mai

Sunday, 24 April 2016

For my Nineteenth Birthday I visited the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand!

I had been so excited about going to this after I booked it back in January so I was practically bouncing by the time I actually got there! I booked this trip as my brother had been the previous year and told me how cool it was! 
It was such an incredible experience.

The park is a rescue centre for elephants who have been a part of the logging industry and other tourist industries. Some of them come severely injured so the reserve is a safe home for them to recuperate and be looked after in a safe environment.

At the beginning of my day there we got to feed the elephants and the one who's bucket we had was called Lucky. She was an amazing elephant who had come from a circus and had suffered such abuse from her previous mahout that she was blind in both eyes. This meant that we had to place the food directly in her trunk whilst she felt around. I never realised what the shape of an elephant snout looked like!

This is Medo. Her mother was part of the logging industry when she was born and she followed her mother round for the first few years of her life. One day the chains on a log her mother was dragging snapped and rolled in to her leg which broke her ankle which never healed properly. After logging she was forced into a brutal breeding program which left her with even more broken bones and a dislocated hip. As you can see she has a permanently shortened wonky leg, and a slanted back that makes her stand out from the crowd.

 We spent the day wondering around the park with our guide telling us about each of the elephants as well as learning about the anatomy of the elephants and how each breed differentiates. The little fella above was such a character running around with various toys and using his trunk as a snorkel whilst the mahouts cleaned him!

We had a gorgeous vegetarian lunch before getting in the water with a couple of elephants and washing them! It was so much fun chucking the water about and the elephants were so calm which was surprising considering some of their backgrounds.
The sanctuary is also home to hundreds of cats and dogs so even when we were up having our food we were still surrounded by animals.

If you want to find out more about the park check out there website here and this awesome informative blog post from A Dangerous Business here.