While visiting Chiang Mai, Thailand with our friends, we visited some gentle giants at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, a haven for formerly mistreated elephants.
Sadly, some elephants here are used for labor as well as a popular tourist attraction where many of the animals are kept in poor environments and forced to carry tourists around on their backs. Unfortunately, many visitors to South East Asia are unaware of the pain this causes the animals as well as the poor conditions they live in, but some people continue to provide business to such attractions.
Fortunately, sanctuaries like Elephant Jungle Sanctuary are becoming more popular and visitors are able to feed, bathe and interact with the elephants as they enjoy their days roaming freely around the area. Riding is forbidden at these places and it is clear that these elephants are happy and healthy.
Our day here was spent feeding, bathing them in the river and just hanging out with these amazing creatures. They are extremely intelligent and quite docile and friendly despite their gigantic size. It was amazing to get the chance to be up close and personal with an animal we’ve only really seen in pictures.
Here are some of our favorite pictures from the day.