I have dreamed of swimming with the elephants my whole life. Images like the ones below led me to believe this meant to be closer to nature. This year I had the opportunity to make my dream come true. As the day approached I started to wonder if what I was going to see was really something beautiful or it would be a shock of reality where these animal were living in.
We are tired of hearing horrible things these animals go through in "touristic sanctuaries" and in the forests working for the logging industry. So my anxiety went up high on previous days to the elephant experience. I even wanted to call it off. No animal lover wants to see them in pain, worse yet, to support cruelty to go on.
Although if you want to know what is the real situation and do something about it, then you need to go there and check for your self. Cause internet has good and bad things, and you can not change the world just by posting like or not like on facebook. So I went there to check this out and if it was wrong then I could gather my forces to do something about it.
So when we went back we were alone with the care givers and the elephants. Then we started seeing the reality and ask questions about everything there. These animals were rescued from the log industry, were they worked caring heavy weight for many hours, with no care at all, and with the special treatment you can imagine. Many of them were walking free around the shed we were standing. And a few were chained under trees getting food and water. We did not see any elephant get bit or yelled at. The opposite, they were very well treated by their caregivers.
This moment we finally got closer to nature, we played with the elephants, we fed them in the mouth. These are the most sweet beasts I have seen in my life. They are great, they are unbelievably gentle, even if their trunk can lift 2 tons, they are so mellow and friendly. They played with Naomi kindly, she didn't get scared for 1 second even. I have never I imagined how beautiful it could be, as sharing this dream with my family I can not lie, this experience was one of the most amazing in my life.
At the end I was so thankful for the experience of being close to the majestic animals and even forgot about swimming, but guess what, my hubby didn't, so there I went to make my dream come true. And it was an experience I will never forget.
Thank you my lovely husband to support and encourage me to make another dream of mine come true.
So if you are thinking about having an elephant experience here are my advises:
- Choose well which sanctuary/park/camp you are going to visit.
- DON'T RIDE THEM! BATHE THEM!
- You can climb, play and feed them, it wont hurt.
- If you see something wrong, irregular, hurtful happening to these animals wherever you are, make sure you put your word out there, post on Facebook, contact authorities, organizations, TripAdvisor, anywhere you can denounce the unfairness you should do. Force these places become better for these innocent rescued magnificent giants.
The ideal would be to have them free in the nature without humans intervention, but humans are destroying the whole world, and these animals need to eat to survive, about 200kg of food per day, so they need proper sanctuaries to keep them alive.
Enjoy your experience, but do your part in this world!