When we were in Chaing Mai, Thailand we went to the Elephant Nature Park (ENP). In 1998, Sangduen Lek Ehailert opened the ENP. She wanted to cure and help Asian elephants. There were over 30 elephants at the park. Most had been injured while working at logging camps, circuses and begging on the street.
We learned many stories about the elephants. One of them was one day an elephant was dragging a log up a hill and at the top of the hill her baby was born. The baby started to slip down the hill and the mother couldn’t save her because she was working. Her baby died. After that the mother elephant decided not to work and her owner got so mad that he took a sling shot and hit her in the eye which made her blind in one eye. She started to work after that. She was working hard enough so her owner took a spear and stabbed her in the eyes and the elephant went completely blind. She now is safe at the ENP and has made a couple of elephant friends who help guide her around the park. Another story was an elephant that we saw and our guide told us that the elephant doesn’t trust anyone because her owners have mistreated her with sling shots and fire (no wonder she doesn’t trust anyone). She has tried to kill 2 of her owners. She is now a separate area at the park so when you see her, she won’t try to do to you, what she has done to her other owners.
When we went to the ENP we learned many things about elephants. We saw Asian elephants, not African elephants. Asian elephants are about a foot smaller than African elephants. Only male Asian elephants grow tusks but all adult African elephants have them. African elephants have bigger ears than the ones we saw. African elephants have two points on their trunks but Asians only have one. All of the females are in their Mom’s stomachs for 17-18 months and all of the males are in for 22-24 months. Elephants eat 20 hours a day because only 40 % of what they eat is digested. They eat so much a day it is 10% of their body weight! Speaking of eating, we got to feed some. The baby really liked the watermelon! They get scared so easily because they can feel vibrations of the ground through their feet. This is a way of communicating.
There were other animals at the park too, like cats and dogs. They were up for adoption. I felt bad for the elephants when we visited the park. In the bathroom, I saw a scorpion and got terrifed !!!!!!!!! I really enjoyed the ENP (other than that part) because I got to see wildlife that I have never seen before and I got to touch a few elephants. They feel wrinkly, rough and covered in mud because they didn’t want to get sunburned so they take their trunks, scoop up dirt and put it on their backs. My favourite elephant was the silly one that put a pineapple on its head and couldn’t get it down. I hope to go to ENP again.
We're the Danchuks - follow our explorations and family adventures in a wide world (2018).