Visiting "The Elephant Nature Park"... A Sanctuary in Northern Thailand: "To Save the Asian Elephant begins with our Awareness of their plight"... The Facts about Elephant Painting (Painting Elephants), what is really going on behind the scenes?

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February 5th 2008
Published: December 28th 2007
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9/5/08: Refer to the end of this entry re: specific information about Elephant Painting (information you need to know) and a current update regarding the elephants at the Elephant Nature Park (related, in part, to Elephant Painting): 12/28/07: Entry prior to leaving on this trip: After leaving Varanasi to Delhi, an early morning flight will take me back to Thailand. Again, I will stay a night in ... Read Full Entry

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Sacred TreesSacred Trees
Sacred Trees

Once blessed cloth is tied around a tree, it is considered sacred and bad karma to cut it down. Lek has encouraged this practice, and is trying to save as many trees that create and sustain forest land as possible. I wish our Western Cultures respected sacred ribbons on trees... if only it could be that easy.
Jokia, the blind elephantJokia, the blind elephant
Jokia, the blind elephant

Her owners deliberately blinded her in their belief that she would be controlled better. Her baby was killed in the process of her working and trying to give birth at the same time- the story gets worse from there.
Landmine victimLandmine victim
Landmine victim

The accident happened near the Thai-Burma border. She was then used for street begging when she was unable to work.
The story of the One-TuskerThe story of the One-Tusker
The story of the One-Tusker

At night, poachers came and used a chain saw to remove his once large, impressive tusks. Now, he battles with infections in his mouth and needs close medical monitoring.
The story of MedoThe story of Medo
The story of Medo

Made to work logging when she was too young, resulted in her being injured by a log. The owners figured she was still young enough to breed even with a deformed leg. Unfortunately, this type of forced breeding can result in injuries as it did in Medo's case. She was left with a badly fractured pelvis, yet the owners still put her back to work to pull small logs. Fortunately, Lek found her. She will now spend the rest of her days at the sanctuary.
Peek a Boo with Max the ElephantPeek a Boo with Max the Elephant
Peek a Boo with Max the Elephant

The story of Max: He is one of the tallest known Asian Elephants. He has been used during ceremonies, as a working elephant doing a variety of services, including being used for street begging. His life on the streets were very difficult, and left him severely injured when he got hit by a very large truck (which is one of the dangers of working as a street elephant). Now he roams the park, when he is not in musth... and will spend the rest of his life here in peace.

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