Dad and I went to an elephant sanctuary named The Elephant Nature Park (ENP). It was near Chiang Mai, Thailand. This elephant park is unlike any other park here because the ENP rescues elephants from places where they are treated badly. Right now the ENP has over 40 elephants and are still helping more.
The ENP saves elephants from companies that have them in circuses. In the circuses the elephants look so cool and everyone is in awe of what they can do. But the elephants are suffering. The circus trainers keep the elephants months before the show in chains and force them to walk around poles or trees while tied up. The trainer has hooks that they jab into the elephant during training or during the show if they do something wrong. The elephants suffer greatly until they are brought to the ENP where the staff heals their wounds and provides a place to be free and safe.
When Dad and I arrived, we were on a big platform that elephants walked up to and we fed them watermelons! There was a huge bucket filled with watermelons and one elephant ate the whole bucket in about five minutes! After that, our guide walked us around the ENP. There were ten people in our group and I liked all of them! On the walk we stopped by some elephants and we watched them about five feet away. Then we got to touch them! I walked up to an elephant and placed my hand on it and thought, “Wow, this is not what I was expecting!” The elephant’s skin felt very rough, prickly and hairy. When I pressed on it, about one inch beneath it was so hard! Their skin was very wrinkly and I was so glad I got to touch one!
We got to a river where about ten elephants were bathing in the water. We watched them for awhile and then they came out of the water with a baby elephant. The baby was so adorable and small. I just wanted to hug it! One of my favorite moments was at the end when my whole group got into a river with one elephant. We all were in waist high water and had buckets. We filled our buckets with water and then threw the water onto the elephant! We all were in a circle around the elephant so we could splash everywhere on it. I loved washing the elephant and being with them all day.