Our second day with the elephants in Thailand was a highlight of my life. Being in their incredible presence, in such an intimate way, will forever hold a very special place ❤️
We spent the whole day at an elephant camp turned sanctuary who cared for three elephants: a 36yo mother, her 4 month old BABY!!!!, and a 45yo Auntie/Nanny. Wrestling around with a baby elephant isn't something I ever thought I'd experience! Ome!!
Lek, the woman who's leading the change in the way elephants are treated and used in Asia via her organization the Elephant Nature Park, got the family who owned this camp to evolve their business from trekking and riding the elephants (forcing them to work beyond their means) to a sanctuary for their elephants to live a peaceful and more natural life.
The family of Karen Elephant Serenity now earn their money in providing education to all the people who want to come see and interact with the elephants, which includes feeding them handmade snacks, a foraging walk, bathing time and mud baths.
Yes the highest hope is for these animals to roam freely, able to enjoy their lives and families without human involvement. Yet if they can serve as conduits of education and inspiration, in the way they did for me, then I see that as another worthy dharma to the world. I'm deeply grateful for all they taught me.
If you’re in Thailand or anywhere else, please DON’T EVER RIDE an elephant. Pardon the all caps, but it' really is that critical, and most animal-loving people don’t even realize it. I have to admit, when I toured through India in 2007, I rode an elephant at the Red Fort. I’ve grown to know better. And now you do too.
It’s important to keep in mind - almost ALL attractions that involve an animal(s) are causing an unnatural state and physical harm to that animal in order to profit off of them. Take the extra effort to learn which (if any) attractions consider and provide a high level of care for the animal's welfare. Choose to give them your money. If we cut the demand, the supply will decrease too. And each of us can be part of that change!
With the highest reverence and love to the elephants, and all sentient beings.
~ Amanda Ree