Thursday, 5 June 2014

Elephant Nature Park

The Elephant Nature Park is a sanctuary for rescued Asian elephants in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

Thousands of asian elephants work in the Thai logging and tourism industries and many of these are abused by their mahouts and forced to work in appalling conditions.

Beaten with hooked poles and chained at night, many of the elephants sicken and are traumatised by the treatment they receive from their keepers.

The Elephant Nature Park is a reserve founded by Lek Chailert for elephants rescued from the logging and tourism industry.  Some of the elephants have been orphaned, some blinded by ill treatment and one was even missing part of a foot from having stepped on a land mine near the border with Cambodia.

The elephants are cared for by a team of dedicated staff and volunteers in an environment where they are never beaten, ridden or chained but instead are trained using positive behavioural techniques.

Tourists can pay to spend a day with these highly intelligent, social and inquisitive creatures and these photographs were taken during the day I was lucky enough to spend at the Elephant Nature Park.

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