Before starting our South East Asia trip, we knew that seeing elephants was a must. So, after researching ethical ways to encounter elephants in Thailand, we stumbled across The Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai.
It’s heart breaking to know how much these have to suffer to perform for trainers. The hidden truths aren’t promoted, and not many people know about what really happens behind the scenes to make an elephant unnaturally do what their trainers want them to do. Many people who choose to ride elephants or see them in a circus show have no idea what pain and suffering those elephants go through every day. We certainly didn’t 4 years ago when we took my first trip to South East Asia.
But thankfully, the devoted team at The Elephant Nature Park are doing such an incredible job at rescuing many of these poor elephants.
They have created a protected sanctuary for them to rehabilitate and happily enjoy the rest of their lives roaming free.
We witnessed how well the elephants are treated here and how patient the team is with them. They let them decide when they’re ready to interact with other elephants and humans.
Elephant Nature Park is a unique project set 60km from Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. Established in the 1990’s their aim is to provide a sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants. It has provided a sanctuary for dozens of distressed elephants from all over Thailand.
We had the opportunity to feed and bathe them, whilst respecting how much time they wanted to spend around us.
This kind of ethical interaction with elephants is far better than any other kind of elephant encounter.
Watching the elephants interact with each other and go about their lives is a very surreal and moving experience.
It’s rewarding to be a part of a great cause. Without people donating to come and visit these rescued elephants at The Elephant Nature Park they wound’t be able to afford to continue the work that they do.
So, if you ever want to get close and personal with elephants in Thailand then please do it this way and visit The Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai.
As travellers, we all have the responsibly to promote ethical tourism. If we all come together to support ethical tourism then changes could be made to prevent exploitation.
If you want to visit The Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, or even volunteer, then jump onto their site in order to make a booking (2 months outside of your intended dates is advised). We hope you enjoyed this post and are inspired to encounter elephants in an ethical way.
*Please note that we are not affiliated or associated with The Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai. We only recommend products, services or places that we’ve personally experienced and believe in.
Have you visited The Elephant Nature Park in Thailand? Tell us about your experience in a comment below…
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