Elephant Conservation Center

Last weekend Vince and I finally made it out to the tourist attraction that puts Lampang on the map, the Elephant Conservation Center.  The center houses around 20 Asian elephants –Asian elephants are smaller than African elephants, though they all look large to me.  We took the bike on a beautiful 40-minute morning ride into the mountains to reach the center.  Before the heat finally caught up with the sun, and the tourist came flooding in, Vince and I were able to stroll around the center to see what life is like in the center before the day begins. We caught this mahout trainer giving his elephant an early bath.  It was so serene. 

A bit later, shortly before the elephant show began more elephants came to bathe in the river.  Mahouts and tourists taking a mahout training course accompanied the elephants.  The program is set up to teach people how to make (well trained) elephants obey their commands.  The program also includes elephant riding and feeding, but it cost 50 times more than the cost of simply visiting the center so Vince and I opted out. I love to hear the calls of the elephants.

 

The center rehabilitates these gentle giants and trains them in logging.  But for the tourists, the center also trains the elephants to go to sleep, sit, walk on logs, paint, play instruments.  My favorite part was seeing the elephants’ body contort in ways that I never would’ve imagined they were able to do.  So cool. I think Vince and I will go again next weekend.

 

 

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~ by The Piersas on September 5, 2008.

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