ELEPHANT NATURE PARK
Beyond the concrete jungle of Chiang Mai, Thailand, prevails an entirely different wilderness. Elephant Nature Park, some 40 miles from Chiang Mai, has been rescuing and rehabilitating pachyderms since the 1990s. Elephant Nature Park is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary providing a lush natural environment for elephants, dogs, cats, and buffaloes. You can spend the day feeding, swimming with, and walking alongside the contented elephant herd in their 200-acre habitat. Volunteers and visitors contribute to the healing while learning about their lives past and present.
Elephants are one of the planet’s most awe-inspiring iconic animals.
While revered in Thailand, these gentle giants are not free from abuse and exploitation. Wild baby elephants are captured and stolen from their mothers to be used in the cruel tourism industry. Born in captivity or stolen from the wild, tourism elephants must be mentally broken – the barbaric tradition of ‘Breaking the Spirit’. For seven days their feet will be tied with ropes, limbs stretched, repeatedly beaten with sharp metal tools, and will be starved of food. This practice essentially breaks the spirit of the elephant, using fear of pain to train them to accept riders on their backs, perform tricks and paint.