With an extra day to spend in the northern Thailand city of Chang Mai last week, I explored some tourist sites in search of a diversion. And certainly I had one.
I couldn’t have done better than my choice of the Elephant Nature Park charitable organization. Six of us had the pleasure of spending a day with elephants who essentially had been tortured in the past to carry passengers, lug logs or perform in circuses or venues such as zoos.
Two or three among the 44 retired pachyderms who ramble in the woods and across the organization’s meadows, albeit in highly controlled conditions, are totally blind. One lost her vision from being stabbed by an angry mahout (handler), and a second elephant had suffered too much time in the spotlights of a circus.
I have acquired new contempt for rival facilities that offer rides to tourists or entertain them with tricks including having elephants create paintings. Fun for those who witness and ride, not so much for the abused noble creatures.
As costly as the day ran us on the tour, each of us Continue reading