Rescued baby elephant responds with joy to kindness and fruit snacks
The Elephant Nature Park in Chang Mai, Thailand is a place where rescued elephants go for freedom and a second chance. Many were circus performers or had been neglected and abused in some other way. Forced to perform, they have endured a life of torture and pain in the training process to gain submission from these gentle beasts.
Here, Indi has found a second chance for freedom from the pain. He lives among a herd of other rescued elephants that have found their way here from equally horrific conditions.
Almost all performing elephants in India and Thailand suffer from untreated injuries. Most commonly, they have foot conditions due to walking on hot pavement and standing for hours, bearing the weight of tourists on their back while they are forced to give them rides. The industry is driven by the flow of dollars from the unsuspecting tourists who believe that the animals are happy and healthy.
Here, at Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, the workers provide proper nutrition, veterinary care, and immense areas to roam and bathe. The elephants can never be truly wild again, but this is as close as possible to what nature intended for these beautiful souls.
Guests like Rebecca, from Canada, can interact with the elephants which helps them rebuild a sense of trust in people. The elephants are learning to associate people with kindness and food, and occasionally play behaviour. They are free to socialize with other elephants as they wish. They will never again know the pressure of working for their meals, or the threat of a bullhook. They will never again wear shackles or suffer at the hands of a human.
Before spending money to see animals, please visit websites such as Elephant Nature Park, or WildlifeSOS.org.
These organizations have promoted the rehabilitation and better treatment of animals as well as the "Refuse to Ride" movement. They are only able to do their work with the generous help of donations.