Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/4/2016 (459 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Seeing an elephant up close is a rare and wonderful experience. These animals combine great power with a surprising grace and renowned intelligence. They are the only animal, apart from humans, that exhibit signs of post-traumatic stress disorder after experiencing violence or traumatic events. Sadly, there are no shortage of traumatic events facing elephants in Thailand. They have steadily lost much of their natural home because of deforestation and other human industry and many are starved or overworked in forest camps or in unethical tourist operations. Some who used to work at logging forests have been replaced by machinery and end up being used for begging or plying tourists in the megacity capital of Bangkok. One organization has stepped forward to rescue elephants from exploitation. The Elephants World sanctuary, located a few hours north of Bangkok, was started in 2008 by a Thai veterinarian to provide a place of safety for them. They call themselves a “retirement home” for elephants that have been injured during their work, or are too old to continue toiling in circuses, tourist camps or forestry operations. They run as a non-profit organization, funded exclusively by visitors and donations. Visitors can see and interact with elephants close up, while learning more about their care and how to enjoy them as a tourist in an ethical manner. More information, including how to visit and how to donate, can be found at elephantsworld.org.