Heavy, strong, with huge ears and big trunks. Can you think of what I’m talking about? Elephants! They probably are not part of your day-to-day life, but I can bet that ever since childhood that cute, eared-up Disney, Dumbo, has won your smile. The elephants are pure charm with that slow walk and a hunger that never ends. They are constantly eating! After all, feeding that little body is not easy! Lol
Have you thought about getting close enough to these adorable creatures? In some countries it is possible to live with them, whether it be following the routine of the offspring who have been left without mothers and living in orphanages such as the Udawala National Park in southern Sri Lanka or visiting some shrine that cares for elephants rescued from places where they suffered any kind of ill-treatment, as in Thailand.
On my last trip to Asia I scheduled a day of my itinerary to interact with them (since Sri Lanka I saw the babies just on the other side of the fence). I opted for the Kanjana Sanctuary in the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand, a place with few animals, where they are treated with much affection. Early in the morning I arrived to receive instructions on how to behave, I learned a few words to communicate with them. I changed clothes as I would enter a river to play with the elephants at bath time and filled a bucket with bananas and pumpkins to please my new friends.
What a sensational experience. If one day you have this chance do not hesitate. Go! Kanjana has few elephants. I went in the morning and played with five adult elephants and a little baby that was the cutest thing in the world. Asian elephants are smaller and more docile than the Africans. I gave them food, walked to the river with them and the caretaker, showered the elephants, took a million pictures, and left even more in love with them than I already was. Want to know some curiosities? The gestation of an elephantine lasts 22 months, they live in average of 70 years, are afraid of bees, their skin although thick is very sensitive, they love to play in the water, and they eat more than 100 pounds of food a day.
If you go to Chiang Mai also take a look at the Elephant Nature Park, the Hug Elephant Sanctuary and the Kanta where the animals are not chained or trained. These locations are far from the historical center of Chiang Mai but surrounded by nature. They offer full-day or half-day visits with lunch included and an opportunity to bathe with the elephants. A must see for anyone who loves elephants!
I wish you all a wonderful week.
XoXo and see you all next Tuesday.