If you would have told me a year ago that I would be putting my hand in an elephants mouth in Chiang Mai, Thailand I would have thought you were going nuts! But here we are in February 2012 and it happened.
The other day we went to the Elephant Nature Park (ENP). The ENP is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center, where volunteers come from all around the world, to help care for the elephants and to learn all about the elephant lives from their past to the present. The ENP was established in the 1990s, despite extreme financial difficulties Sangduen Chailert (Lek) was able to found the Park in 1996, with her husband Adam. While we were there we got to feed, bathe and hangout with the elephants. The first time we were feeding them we fed them bananas and they used their trunks to put it in their mouth so you could even hear them breathing through their trunk! It was pretty amazing. Currently there are a total of 35 elephants living there; most have a nightmare background (that I prefer not to write about), but now they are finally in the beautiful elephant haven. One even kissed us for a banana! Mom said it felt like when you put your hand under the pool vacuum cleaner. For those of you who haven’t done that yet, it’s like a suction cup. When we were bathing them in the river we had to throw buckets of water on top of their backs to get off all the dirt that they had thrown on top of themselves with their trunks to keep themselves cool. Then we would rub their sides with smooth rocks. But once they got out of the river they just put more dirt right back on! One elephant was holding water in its mouth and started spraying it at us! It was a really fun, in the moment experience and I would recommend it to everyone.