Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand
The elephant rescue and rehabilitation centre isn’t the regular elephant park you see in Chiang Mai. This place has no talent shows, no elephant ride, no nothing. It’s a place to appreciate how majestic these animals are and that they can live happily even with a terrible past.
One of the elephants had stepped on a land mine in Myanmar and lost part of its back leg. One of the elephants has a broken hip and leg due to too much workload in the logging industry. One of the them became blind because the workers poked her eye to punish her for refusing to work; after she was too upset for losing her elephant baby.
The care takers have so much passion towards these elephants. Most of the elephants are over 60 years old and require close medical and dietary care. You’ll find lots of volunteers who come here for more than a week to work and care for them.
It was heartbreaking to hear these stories but also a relief to see that they’re now being well taken care of. Some of them even got pregnant and so you see a few elephant babies romping around! You don’t get to interact much with the babies though, they are to be released to the wild when they’re ready.
All in all, it’s an incredible experience and I hope you’ll all come here instead of the commercial elephant park that don’t take care of its elephants.