During our trip to Thailand, we went to an elephant sanctuary about 1 1/2 hours north of Chiang Mai for two days. The first day, we got there in a white van. The first thing we did was feed the elephants cucumber and watermelon, which they preferred the latter.
|A basket of cucumbers, squash and watermelons, which the elephants particularly enjoy|
|Treat time is a good way to introduce the elephants to the new batch of tourists|
Next we had lunch, and we were shown to our room. They gave us a few hours to settle in, then we went for a walk and gave the elephants a bath in a river!
|ENP was also a home to remarkable spiders|
|This one was high up so its hard to see, but it was bigger than your hand|
|Between meals and treats, elephants eat the leaves off of corn stocks that are delivered in big trucks|
|While the elephants are distracted with roughage is a good time to observe|
|The elephants only eat the leaves, they throw the stalks aside for the water buffalo|
|Elephants are rough and scratchy - notice that this one lost her ear somewhere along the line|
|Some of these elephants have suffered bad injuries, especially if they were employed in logging, and a number of them were blind. Despite all that, many of them live to be very old. The oldest ENP elephant is over 90.|
After that we went to a little cat conservation area that one of our group members found out about from one of our group titled: "Cat Kingdom" which I particularly enjoyed. After a solid 1/2 hour of cat-petting, our family ate dinner, got presents from a gift shop, and went to bed.
|A Cat Kingdom resident|
|A Cat Kingdom resident and aficionado|
|Dogs like pets|
|They adopt these dogs out around the world, if we were heading back to the US, we could have volunteered our luggage space to get an adopted dog to its new family|
We had lunch early, and bathed another elephant. You do this by basically throwing giant buckets of water at them, while the elephants eat watermelon. I crossed the river, which was hard because the current was so strong while we were bathing the elephants.
|This is how we do it|
Then we made rice balls for the old elephants that we saw that morning, because they have a hard time chewing watermelon.
|Form the balls|
|The finished product|
We saw how the elephants keep cool by throwing mud on themselves to block the sun.
|Elephants like mud|
|Applying elephant sunblock|
After one last trip to both the Cat and Dog kingdoms, we were on our way back from the best experience we've had in Thailand so far! We hope to have even more fun times yet to come!
|Our multi-national group|