5 Things We Learned On Our Visit To Elephant Nature Park In Thailand
“Elephants love reunions. They recognize one another after years and years of separation and greet each other with wild, boisterous joy. There's bellowing and trumpeting, ear flapping and rubbing. Trunks entwine.”
― Jennifer Richard Jacobson,
Our recent visit took us to the Elephant Nature Park (ENP), a project initiative of the Save Elephant Foundation based in Chiang Mai, Thailand that works to rescue and rehab a large number of Asian elephants. The manager of ENP, Pom, was kind enough to show us around the beautifully peaceful place as little elephants played with each other under the watchful eyes of their nannies.
Here are 5 things we learned about the plight of elephants at this amazing charity and rehab center -
Poaching and Habitat Loss Has Plummeted The Elephant Population - From 300,000 elephants in the beginning of the 20th century to just under 4000 according to recent figures, the number of elephants has been dwindling in Thailand pretty fast. The biggest contributors include - poaching and habitat loss due to rising human population.
Domesticated Elephants Suffer In The Illegal Logging Industries - Before the ban on logging industry, domesticated elephants maintained their population but in the last century, their numbers have gone down from 100,000 to a under 4000. Now, they are illegally employed by logging companies and ill used for their strength.
Elephants Beg In The Streets of Thailand to Survive - Both tourists and locals of Thailand witness these gentle creatures begging on the streets for food and being reduced to eating scraps to survive. A lot of these elephants die due to starvation.
Wild Elephants Are Chained and Beaten Into Submission - Not a lot of people know that elephants are extremely intelligent creatures and they often suffer from depression. Such is the fate of the wild elephants that are caught by the tourism industry, their spirit broken by abuse to cater to tourists.
Love and Patience Is A Potent Combination For Rescued Elephants - At the ENP, elephants of various ages are brought in regularly and treated not just for their injuries but also for their emotional pain. Nannies find purpose in their life by looking after little ones while young elephants are cared for and protected. Most importantly, though, elephants are not chained or kept behind bars but allowed to roam freely like they were always meant to.
It was heartbreaking to hear about these practices but also, amazing to watch how the elephants are allowed to be in their natural habitat at the Elephant Nature Park.
Check them out at www.saveelephant.org and please donate if you can.
One Tribe Apparel is proud to donate $1 from every sale made to the Elephant Nature Park and help support their cause.
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