Elephants: Another Poignant Piece to Read. Warning! Grab Your Tissues!!

Grant Hayter-Menzies is an author of several books and is about to write one about Elephant Nature Park and Lek, the founder of the park. I’m rapt about this because both the Park and Lek are well worth reading about! Here is a piece he wrote about a childhood experience that haunts him to this day. Be warned – you will probably cry. I did.

Unpeacable Kingdom

Little humans with buckets swarming at the Drive In Ele Wash. Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai, North Thailand.

Little humans with buckets swarming at the Drive In Ele Wash. Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai, North Thailand.

 

Elephants on a Young New Zealand Traveler’s Blog – Please Read

I read this heart-rending post on the blog of a young New Zealand woman. Please read it and other posts on there, and share it around. It’s my wish that every tourist in the world refuses to attend elephant shows and riding parks and makes much more informed and ethical choices in the future. People like this young lady are making it happen.

Read her blog here

Thank you.

One giant step for pachyderm, half a dozen steps for mankind.

One giant step for pachyderm, half a dozen steps for mankind.

New Erawan Paradise Elephant Camp – Please Spread the News. :)

Slowly, positive changes are happening, thanks to Lek, the wonderful founder of Elephant Nature Park.

Erawan Eles pic 72Save Elephant Foundation’s Sangduen “Lek” Chailert, along with a group of volunteers, recently freed five elephants from Sai Yok elephant camp. Their new home is at Erawan Paradise, located in Kanchanaburi, in midwestern Thailand.

Located approximately 50 kilometers from Kanchanaburi, Thailand, the Erawan Elephant Retirement Park is the newest project sponsored by the Save Elephant Foundation. The first five elephants to call the park home arrived in early July, 2013. All the resident elephants are former tourism elephants, rescued from trekking camps, street-begging or performance shows.

Spread over 50 acres, the facility operates similarly to Elephant Nature Park and volunteers will help maintain the retirement property, as well as assist the mahouts with the elephants.

Watch the movie via the link below – it’s fantastic to see this stuff happening.

Erawan Elephant Retirement Park

Bucket List? Huh! I’m Turning 50 and I Have a Pooh List.

Evil personified! This one took a jandal hostage and wouldn't give it back until lots of food was thrown at it. Bundi, Rajasthan.

Evil personified! This one took a jandal hostage and wouldn’t give it back until lots of food was thrown at it. Bundi, Rajasthan.

You hear the term ‘Bucket List’ bandied about quite often, yes? I was fortunate enough to cotton on at an early age that the world is a fascinating place and I had started a list of countries and things I wanted to see by the time I was 12. Tibet, the Pyramids, Bedouins in Arabia, Castles in England, Frogs in the Amazon, Iguanas in Galapagos, the usual run-of-the-mill stuff.

I’m not entirely sure where the ‘Bucket List’ term originated, but since I’m about to turn 50 and inherit my license for eccentricity, I’ve decided that I shall have a Pooh List. I know – I’m such a grown-up. And I’ve already ticked off several of the items on it: Continue reading

Elephants in the Street and How I Suck as a Westerner and a Tourist

I am guilty. And I was ignorant. I didn’t know.

This baby is so hungry she tried to latch onto a passing elephant she didn't know to suckle. Photo by Lek Chailert

This baby is so hungry she tried to latch onto a passing elephant she didn’t know to suckle.
Photo by Lek Chailert

I went to India four times before I saw my first real live elephant. At about 2 o’clock in the morning, in Pahar Ganj, a place bustling with people and traffic and street dogs and rubbish. I was so thrilled to finally see one that I didn’t stop to think that the poor thing was probably stressed out by the noise and traffic, and also probably just hanging out to get off the hard tarmac and go to bed. Continue reading

Pachyderm Banana Hoovers and Buffalo Sludge-Boulders – Day 7 Elephant Nature Park

Two BFF's at the elephant clinic, Elephant Nature Park.

Two BFF’s at the elephant clinic, Elephant Nature Park.

Jodi had told us that some of the elephants could be drama queens, and on this last day I got to see it for myself. I was lolling about in the dining area having my morning coffee and looking across at the elephant clinic, where there was always an elephant to be seen who lived there on a semi-permanent basis due to her need for ongoing foot treatment, plus another elephant who hung around keeping her company. Every day at ENP I had seen both of them there together. Today something caught my eye – there was only one elephant (Number 1). The more mobile one (Number 2) had gone for a wander around the back. Elephant Number 1 suddenly noticed she was gone and made a hell of an uproar! She started bellowing ‘Come back! Where are you?!’ – presumably in Thai Ele language – and kicking up a right fuss. I spotted the other one come out from around the back, and I actually saw her heave a great sigh. She took her time wandering back to the front of the clinic then trumpeted to Number 1 – ‘All right! Keep yer proboscis on, I’m here!’ They touched trunks and felt each other all over for a little while then settled back into their usual routine of, well, eating. Ah, the trials and tribulations of a BFF relationship. Continue reading