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Elephants in Thailand

The following day we rented a less wrecked scooter and headed once more to Mae Sa Elephant Camp. It's a lovely village set by the river in which all the elephants, staff and mahouts (elephant keepers) live. Each of the 73 elephants has it's own mahout. As elephants often live 80 years, a strong bond is formed between the animal and it's keeper, so this is often a father and son team to last throughout the elephant's lifetime.

After spending time feeding them we watched some of the elephants being bathed in the river and blowing water over themselves. Next, there was a demonstration of working elephants moving and stacking logs, then elephants playing football, playing harmonicas and dancing, giving someone a massage, and painting.

One of the striking things you realise after spending some time up close with these animals is that they are incredibly gentle and graceful creatures. If they walk right past you they'll be careful not to stand on your feet or bump into you. The base of their feet is soft and they exert less force per square centimetre onto the ground than a deer, hence they are perfect for travelling through the jungle and making little impact.We had an elephant ride around some of the grounds and we were surprised by how agile and sure-footedly it could move down steep paths and between trees.

It's always a careful decision whether or not to give custom to tourist sights that are based around animals. The days when we thought we had a right to keep wild animals captive for our own entertainment sadly aren't over yet, as thousands of people go to dolphin parks each year without thinking about the ethics of it at all. We both, however, felt that the elephants at this camp were very well cared for, happy to be trained, and being tended by keepers whose families had probably been tending to elephants for generations. Additionally, there is less demand for working elephants in Thailand these days, and some of the elephants at the camp obviously used to work in the logging industry.

Comments

Yes pull the other one...... musical elephants
......artistic elephants.... elephants that walk
on your back..... did u miss out the elephants
that have installed micro wave links through out
asia and translated the Odysey for Dolphins ?

Would they come to the uk and stand in the next
general election ? I'd vote for them 4 sure.

Love and kisses

cd

Yeah cd, elephants would be better in power than a poodle!

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