Please don't ride an Elephant

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

I'm finally getting chance to sit down and catch up with my blog!

We've had a the most craaazy two weeks in Melbourne. Michael got a job by our second day and we were accepted for an absolutely ridiculous apartment in South Melbourne. So at the mo I've taken a lil break from searching Pinterest, Kmart, Target and Ikea for furnishing ideas. Currently sat with a green tea flicking through the pictures from our recent South East Asia trip. Why does it all seem like a blur now? A distant but recent memory...  and I wanna do it all over again.

Out of the 7 weeks that we were travelling, my ultimate standout, highlight, never-ever-forget moment was the day we spent at The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

Of course its an expected part of the trip, you travel north to see the elephants, as everyone will recommend. But nothing can actually describe that feeling when you're face to face with one of these amazing creatures. After a lot of research we chose to spend a day at Elephant Jungle Sanctuary.

Thai elephants are endangered so we knew we wanted to support this cause rather than contribute to their extinction. There are so many places in Thailand that will allow you to ride an elephant. Elephants spines are not like horses and they are not designed to carry weight on their backs. Many elephants die during poaching as their young are snatched from the wild to work in the tourism and entertainment sectors. Work includes tourist riding, logging and performing in circus activities. Sometimes they are made to carry people for up to 5 hours and attacked with hooks when they are exhausted. 

Our day at the sanctuary

We were picked up at our accommodation in the morning and travelled around an hour and a half through the picturesque northern countryside to the Sanctuary. We got changed into traditional Karen clothing and learnt about the elephants and local people's way of life. 

We walked up a mountain side with sugar cane and bananas at the ready and before I had chance to get my breath back, there they were... Right in front of us, already making a b-line towards our treats, their trunks leading the way. I was a little taken-a-back at first as 5 of these majestic creatures circled us gently in search of more treats. 

After plenty of elephant kisses and selfies we trekked down the other side of the mountain with the elephants. THIS WAS AMAZING. Michael and I both stopped and grinned at each other in that we both knew this was one of those I-am-never-going-to-forget-this-magical-moment kinda times. 

We spent a bit of time at a beautiful waterfall in the jungle before heading back to a traditional Karen village where we were spoilt with a traditional meal with fresh fruit. 

We prepared some medicine for the elephants (rice, bananas and tamarind) and were then told to change into our swimwear and wait in the freshwater river armed with a brush and a bucket. 

In the far distance at the top of the hill came a waving trunk, one, two, three elephants plodding down towards us, ready for their bath. They still took my breath away! They splashed in the river and sat down ready for us to scrub off the mud that had hardened on their skin. Splashing water with their trunks, they were loving life! 

Next to the daily mud spa! We got VERY involved with covering the elephants in a protective layer of mud (works like sunscreen) The cutest moment was the grandma elephant picking up mud and smothering her granddaughter with it before then seeing to herself. 

What a day! Honestly the most amazing experience we have ever had. (skydiving is a close 2nd)

Who are Elephant Jungle Sanctuary?

The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary started in late 2014, based in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. Their mission is to provide as many elephants as possible with the good health, freedom and happiness they truly deserve. They use a progressive and ethically responsible approach to elephant eco-tourism as a platform to raise awareness and educate people from Thailand and around the world.

They convince the mahouts to bring their elephants to their sanctuary rathe than allow them to be ridden. They partner with the Karen Village people who also invest their time and effort into protecting the elephants.

The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Promise
At Elephant Jungle Sanctuary we are giving elephants a place to live free from danger or harm. We keep our elephants together as a family. We don't torture our elephants in order to train them because to us elephants are part of the family, so we do not allow any tourist to ride them. We want people to realise that these lovely creatures should be treated with love and care instead of abusing them.

How can I help?

- Visit and volunteer at The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

How can I help without visiting Thailand?

- Help spread the message of elephant treatment in Thailand and why you should never ride one.

- Donate towards one of their causes which will go towards adopting more elephants, and their daily needs. 

Follow The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary on Instagram and Facebook today!

Love Luce x

1 comment:

  1. Omg please upload another blog as i know it is ur bday soon


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