Elephants Don’t Surf! Pass it on…

An elephant frolicking in FRESH water - as it should be. Note the lack of surfboard... "Watch this Ellie. Just one more push and we got us a waterhole!"

An elephant frolicking in FRESH water – as it should be. Note the lack of surfboard…
“Watch this Ellie. Just one more push and we got us a waterhole!”

Seriously, have you ever been out surfing and had an elephant glide past you on a wave? I’ll bet all six of my toe rings that you haven’t. That’s because elephants don’t surf.

There’s a series of photos and videos that have been making their way around the net for far too long. They feature a baby elephant ‘playing’ in the surf. It looks all very cute, but it is a very wrong picture. So very wrong! The Mahout Foundation have put out a video that shows what goes into the training of baby elephants – the ones you see in these ‘Have you ever seen anything so cute?’ pics, the one’s that are still unfortunately left in circuses, the ones you buy bananas for on the streets in Bangkok and the ones apparently frolicking in the surf, amongst others. Continue reading

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Photo Essay – A Week of Volunteering at Elephant Nature Park. (Contains Many Photos and Much Waffling.)

A baby banana-hoover learns how to do it.

A baby banana-hoover learns how to do it.

September 2013 and I was at it again. I traveled back to Thailand and instead of wallowing at beach resorts and quaffing drinks with little umbrellas in them, returned to Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary North of Chiang Mai, and volunteered my sweat and gave myself some blisters to remember. This time I went for two weeks instead of one, and also hauled my partner along so he could see what I had been rabbiting on about for the last year or so. Here’s a photo essay on being an ENP volunteer.

Firstly, this is where we slept. We were surrounded by Australians, so we dug in, marked our territory and guarded it fiercely. It was a great spot – it had a huge veranda outside, complete with guard dogs and several cats, and our room had a bed with mosquito nets, an open-walled ensuite, a tiny frog and a gecko. Unfortunately, it was situated up some stairs. Fourteen steep stairs to be exact. I know this. I counted them at the end of each long, hot day. Fooouuurrrteeennn of them…

NZ territory - right smack in the middle of Australian territory.

NZ territory – right smack in the middle of Australian territory.

Continue reading

A Journey with 4 Legs – Short Film

Hi all. Hope your day is going really well. 🙂

Here’s a really nice short film on Elephant Nature Park and the other projects Lek Chailert has put into place in South East Asia. Take a look – it’s very inspiring.

A Journey with 4 Legs (Save Elephant Foundation)

One of the beautiful eles at Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

One of the beautiful eles at Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Steel – An Utterly Magnificent Being

If you happen to volunteer at the dog shelter at Elephant Nature Park, beware. There is a very dangerous animal here, aptly named Steel. I say aptly because she is a dog of tremendous determination, an animal with a Will Of Steel and she will snatch your heart and not give it back. If she happens to be in your vicinity, do not, I repeat, DO NOT look into her eyes. Because this will happen:

Scratch my neck. Gowonnnn, you know you want to...

Scratch my neck. Gowonnnn, you know you want to…

You looked, didn’t you? I warned you… Continue reading