As travellers we will always have to try to look for sustainable activities, trying not to involve any animal abuse, always tending to make tourism more responsible and above all based on respect for animals.
CHIANG MAI, MEET THE ELEPHANT NATURE PARK
Unfortunately when people hire a tour that includes a walk or show with elephants they do not know everything that is and has been behind this naive activity. People do not know the mistreatment that the animal has been subjected to, people do not know the mistreatment that the animal is subjected to and most importantly people do not know that they are contributing to the mistreatment continuing in the future.
The problem is not that the tourist does not understand this, the problem above all is the lack of information because surely if the tourist knew everything he would not participate in this type of activity.
The mistreatment of the elephant begins from the moment it is a baby, subjected to physical and psychological mistreatment in order to tame its character and thus be docile. The mistreatment continues in the same place where it is, in the facilities where it lives, many times with bad hygienic conditions, the mistreatment continues during all the time that the activities, the tours last, subjecting the elephant to carry the weight of the tourist on its back, during several times a day… and so, during all the days.
Fortunately there are places where this reality changes, that the interaction and enjoyment with the animal is in another way, based on respect for it. One such place is Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai.
Located 60 km from Chiang Mai is this rescue and rehabilitation center, a pioneer in the country in the way of treating this mythical animal. In the Elephant Nature Park is seeking the care and seek the ideal habitat for these animals are comfortable, without any kind of abuse and most importantly raising awareness of the current problems surrounding the elephants in Chiang Mai and Thailand in general.
To learn more about this organization and its project we invite you to watch this video.
The Elephant Nature Park is open every day of the year. Tourists are allowed in the centre but with a ceiling, which means that you have to book in advance. In these, the tourist participates in the care of the elephants and with the money he pays for the activity that the center can finance. For contact and reservations it is best to do so either through their website or in their offices in the same city of Chiang Mai located at 1 Ratmakka Road.
In the Elephant Nature Park you can also do a volunteer project, staying in the same facilities of the centre on a full board basis and collaborating with the daily activities.
For more information about their visiting and volunteering programs you can visit their official website.
Remember that ENP also collaborates with projects in Phuket and Kanchanaburi.
If you can, do not hesitate to visit it, be aware of the situation and share the information with everyone. Check the following link to know where to go or where not to go to visit elephants in Chiang Mai: Guide to know where to go or where not to go
The best way to help protect elephants in Thailand is to visit the natural areas where they still live in the wild. Understand that the solution to the elephant problem in Thailand is the conservation of their natural habitats.
Another recommended option in Chiang Mai is to visit the KS Elephant Sanctuary.