You can tell an elephant's age by how sunken her temple is. She's about 70. Elephant Nature Park has been around for a while, well-known for a strict no-ride policy. Google why if you're curious but be forewarned. Animals really do deserve better #elephant#elephantnaturepark#Thailand
I don't often post things like this, but I felt compelled to share....
The other day, we were on our way to visit a waterfall on Ko Samui. When we arrived to the parking lot of the waterfall, we were sadly greeted by an elephant trekking camp. Dozens of elephants, with chains at their feet, and necks forced to take tourists for rides to see the waterfall. This mama had her baby chained to her as well (you can see baby's legs in the photo). The mahout (the man on the neck of the elephant in the photo) had a stick that he was using to hit the elephant to keep moving, and sharp pegs on his shoes to jab her in the neck if she didn't keep moving forward.
Close by, they had a baby elephant in a pen who was so anxious and nervous she was pacing back and forth, and they were letting the tourists feed her bananas. Just for the record, elephants can't survive on just bananas. It's like giving humans chocolate bars for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
After learning so much at the @elephantnaturepark at the beginning of our trip about the harsh mistreatment of elephants and the negative implications of these kinds of tourist attractions, I was brought to tears. Michael was so upset too that he started telling all of the tourists there how terrible these "trekking camps" are. Whether or not they listened is another story...
Who are we as a species to think that we can use these beautiful creatures (or any creatures for that matter) for our entertainment? Just for the sake of a selfie to post on instagram? To use them for profit is disgusting and stopping the abuse of these animals is a cause that will be very near and dear to my heart until it's abolished.
DO NOT RIDE ELEPHANTS!
One of the many volunteer tasks we did during our time spent in the jungle was chopping down high protein grass for the elephants to eat. This grass only grows on the side of the road so the elephants can't reach it. So, we chopped down a ton of it and loaded it into the back of a pick up truck, brought it back to our campsite where the elephants devoured all of our hard work in the blink of an eye. 😂🐘 #elephantnaturepark#journeytofreedom#eatwhatelephantseat