Walking With The World’s Largest Mammal

Walking With The World’s Largest Mammal

Elephants are the world’s largest land mammal and are common in Thailand. You can find them in zoos, safari parks, and conservation facilities. These sanctuaries vary in their purpose and how you can interact with the animals, but you are guaranteed to find some awe when in the presence of such large animals. When standing next to an elephant, it is easy to feel like a child again, filled with wonder from looking at the strength and kindness within an elephant’s eyes.

In Good Care

While elephants are fairly common in Thailand, not all are treated equally. There are many mahouts, which is the term for an elephant trainer or keeper, who abuse their elephants more than necessary. Even some facilities that claim to be ethical are considered too violent when training their animals. Many conservationists strive to protect these vulnerable beasts who were considered endangered animals just a few years ago. A good sanctuary not only worries about drawing in tourists, but focuses on the care of their elephants.

Chiang Mai is one of the largest cities within northern Thailand and is always bursting with tourists. The Chiang Mai elephant conservation center boasts of their track record in sustainability and ethical treatment of their animals. If you wonder how accurate this information is, you can research reviews or visit their facility in person to see for yourself.

Getting Involved

There are many ways to get involved with an elephant sanctuary including volunteering. Volunteers who speak English are often trained to be guides for tourists. These guides get to interact with the elephants as much as they do with the public. Guides get to know the elephant’s history and personality with the help of their trainers. It can be nice to visit an elephant’s habitat, but you truly connect with these kind animals when living with them for long periods of times.

If you do not have the time or courage to volunteer, there are still plenty of other ways for you to interact with elephants. Being on the other side of the tour guide can often be more exciting since you don’t know what to expect. Most tours will not only give you information on each elephant’s personal history and interesting facts about the beasts, but they will give you opportunities to feed and touch tame elephants. These guided tours can be messy, and it is encouraged to bring spare clothes because you will often be able to give the elephants a mud bath. Traditional Karen clothes are often supplied for visitors so that you can get a real sense of Thailand’s culture. Pictures are encouraged, and many sanctuaries host photographers who will take pictures for you while you get to play with the elephants.

The Strength of an Elephant

Elephants are known for their size and unusual nose. Not many animals have a hose-like nose, and the elephant’s trunk is used for breathing, drinking, and holding objects. Elephants are herbivores and are generally kind animals. The intelligence of these mammals is rivaled by few, and there are many stories that people will tell you about how good an elephant’s memory is. If you visit an elephant sanctuary, you will be able to witness all of their splendor for yourself.

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