Elephants & Trees

Photos and Article by: Pashon Onomatpoeia

     On getting our itinerary for Thailand, seeing elephants in an ethical way was a must. After going through many sites and reviews I became discouraged with all the unethical places that still put on elephant shows and rides. My companion found a place were you help make medicine for their skin, feed, mud bathe and wash the elephants in the river where the manouts had commands to have them spray us with their trunks. They loved it and rolled around and played at bath time.

     Many other places overwork the elephants and force them in the water when they are tired just for the customers. At Chiang Thai Heritage this was not the case at all. They keep the amount of visitors to a minimal in order not to exhaust the elephants. Making skin medicine for the elephants to help them from having such dry skin that they will rub up against trees. Since elephants weight tons, eventually, they will take out a whole forest just from itching.

 Our guide for the day and lead operator's main objection is to help the elephants and trees. By doing this you must observe the elephants and see what they like to eat and what they don't. Because they use their trunks for smell, picking up food to eat, they can find certain plants that they do not like the smell of, which in return they can spray the trees with this scent to keep the elephants from scratching on them. They've also tried wrapping some trees where the elephants scratch so the tress don't get thrashed too much. They are still trying to find out innovative and safe ways to save both the Elephants and Trees. 

     Tu is trying to get webcams to film the elephants behavior to find out more to help the noble cause. Looking around the valley in Northern Thailand at Chiang Thai Heritage; I noticed two out dated solar panels. Volunteering was my first thought because of the help they could use and what a beautiful and purposeful occasion to be apart of. Forming a relationship with these majestic and gentle giants would be priceless.

     If you are going to Thailand and may be worried about going to a not so safe elephant spot then Chiang Thai Heritage is the place. The elephants won't forget any ideas or help to lend a hand. I would've added more in-depth story of what we all did but I feel you must go there for yourself and have this life changing experience.

     For bookings, donations, volunteer please email : chiangthaiheritage@gmail.com            

                                  - Pashon Onomatpoeia