Elephant sanctuaries of Chiang Mai

travel makers mdIn the city of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, there’s a rescue mission going on to save and nurture elephants. According to Mother Nature Network, elephants are disappearing at an alarming rate. Poachers killed 100,000 African elephants for their ivory from just 2010 to 2012 and roughly one of every 12 African elephants was killed by a poacher in 2011 alone. There were around 1.3 million African elephants alive in 1980. In 2012, there were only an estimated 420,000 to 690,000 elephants left.

If you love these humongous creatures, there are places in Chiang Mai where you can see them up close, feed them and support organizations that aim to save them. The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is located in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand and was founded in 2014 by members of the Karen hill-tribes and Chiang Mai locals who were concerned about the welfare of elephants in Thailand.

The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is home to over 30 formerly mistreated elephants, who are now free to enjoy their lives. There are stories behind each elephant, such as Mintra, who was found begging on the streets in Bangkok and had a dislocated back hip.  She arrived Elephant Nature Park on February 2009.

Visitors will meet members of the Karen tribe. You will wear traditional Karen garb, receive bananas and sugar cane to feed to the elephants and even get muddy with the elephants as you apply a healthy cosmetic mud treatment to their skin. You’ll walk them, bathe them and even play in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Elephant Nature Park is also located in the Chiang Mai province. It was established in the 1990s and has become a sanctuary for dozens of distressed elephants. They also have cats, dogs, buffaloes and many other rescued species.

Visitors can enjoy a short stay where you can watch the elephants in the river (but do not join them) or you can extend your visit. If you book a full day visit, you can enjoy river bathing with the elephants as well as feeding time and a healthy lunch. If you don’t want this experience to end – and who would – you can book a two-day, one-night visit with the herd.

The more love the better for these beautiful creatures. If you’re interested in experiencing a visit to an elephant jungle sanctuary and rescue center, talk to your travel agent today.

Travel Makers MD