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Ethical elephant encounters in Thailand Posted on by admin Support elephant camps and sanctuaries that put the welfare of their animals first, advises Julie Miller.
Elephants and Thailand are closely intertwined — pachyderms have helped shape the Kingdom of Thailand, are part of its history and culture, and are an important element of its tourism industry.
In recent years, however, animal welfare research has highlighted that many of the activities once considered acceptable in the name of entertainment are, in fact, demeaning and cruel to the animals. A baby elephant dancing and performing on cue may be cute, but the reality is, this little creature has been taken away from its mother prematurely, may have been trained via cruel methods and is actually performing unnatural acts, all for monetary gain.
With tour companies such as Intrepid Travel leading the charge, there is now a shift away from supporting elephant camps offering trekking and animal shows; instead, tourists are increasingly being offered opportunities to interact with the elephants on a more intimate level, becoming involved in the daily care of the animal and learning about the special relationship between the elephant and its mahout.
Located at the Anantara Golden Triangle Resort, this camp provides a home and employment for over 30 former street elephants, mahouts and their families.
Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai: This lovely acreage on the outskirts of Chiang Mai provides sanctuary for over 30 elephants, many of them victims of abuse and mistreatment. Here, visitors can watch elephants being elephants, interacting in their herd, playing with each other, and bathing in the river.
Under the tutelage of Lek Chailert from Elephant Nature Park, this brand new facility at Sai Yok, kilometres west of Bangkok, has taken the chains off six elephants from a local trekking camp, with the plan eventually to rehabilitate another 49 from the camp.
Visitors and volunteers are welcome at this fledgling sanctuary, see elephantnaturepark. Elephant Hills, Khao Sok: Two and three-day jungle safaris are available, including accommodation, meals and elephant activities. Family-run, this small business started their sanctuary so their small herd of domesticated elephants could be provided with the highest quality of life, with visitors encouraged to interact one-on-one with the elephants.
This entry was posted in Eco Tourism and tagged elephant campelephant safarielephants.These sculptures, made by Mexican artist Sergio de la Rosa, show three elephant ancestors: (from left to right) the mastodon, the mammoth and the gomphothere.
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Support elephant camps and sanctuaries that put the welfare of their animals first, advises Julie Miller. Elephants and Thailand are closely intertwined – pachyderms have helped shape the Kingdom of Thailand, are part of its history and culture, and are an important element of its tourism industry.
year-old Dakshayani, who is all set to enter Guinness Records as world’s oldest elephant honoured in Trivandrum. (Image source: ANI) Dakshayani, an 86 year old elephant who is set to enter Guinness Records as the world’s oldest living elephant, was honoured in .