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A Day in Elephant Haven

After New Heaven and their sea turtle shelter, we had the opportunity to spend a day at Elephant heaven, the elephant shelter.

It has been truly a great day. This kind of day that remains in memory. Indeed elephants are majestic animals of impressive size. Obviously, you feel really small when you stand near those kind giants of 2.5 meters high weighing 300 kgs. Besides, they have a huge appetite. They eat 100 kg food and drink up to 100 liters a day.

What’ this shelter for ? To start with, you have to know there are only 5000 elephants left in Thailand, half of them domesticated. There used to be 100 000 elephants during last century. Continuing at that pace, elephants will have disappeared from the country within 30 years. .

Remember this : All elephants carrying tourists on their back have been mistreated. As a matter of fact, the elephant is a wild animal and has to be « trained » in order to accept 3 persons on his back together with a heavy metallic structure.image

In thai language, this is called « Phajaan » which means break the elephant’s spirit and implant an irreversible fear of humans. It’s just like getting rid of the elephant’s soul. They are trained when they are still babies. They are locked in cages and are striked where their skin is the softest. The animal is deprived of sleep, starved, suffocated and electrocuted…until the trainers or rather the tormentors judge the elephant’s soul has left his body.

In short not an optimistic observation. But let’s focus on positive things. As I was saying there are shelters in Thailand who lodge mistreated elephants and take good care of them. And it’s in nature Elephant Park shelter that we decided to go for one day. The agenda : feed the elephants, small walk in the forrest with them and cleaning in the river after a mud bath.

ENP188x235We were lucky to be part of a small group (5 persons on that day to take care of 6 elephants). We all have been astonished by those peaceful and intelligent animals. Herefater a quick reportage with photos of that wonderful day.

The names of our new friends for that day :image

Preparation of cookies for the elephants breakfast.

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It’s breakfast time for the elephants. On the menu, cookies, water melons, lots of sugar cane and pineapple.

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Then the little digestion walk in the forrest and the swim in the river to refresh.

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Midday break of our super little team with our great handmade crowns of flowers.

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Use of machete to prepare sugar cane for the afternoon meal.

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Mud bath for the elephants

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Collective cleanup in the river

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Then after the last feeding it’s time to say goodbye. Definitely an expriment I recommend to all animal loving people who want to spend some time with the elephants without harming them.

You will pay 2 500 THB per per person (about 60€) for one day (twice this amount at Chiang Mai) knowing your expense will go to the shelter mainly for good care and food for the elephants. If you find companies who propose this type of experiment for very cheap price, it’s better to avoid them as in general elephants are not taken good care of there…For your next trip to Thailand, think about it and go to Kanchanaburi 😉

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Additional advice:
If you love animals, respect them. Don’t climb on elephants backs but also avoid any form of tourism involving animals. The NGO World Animal Protection has issued in 2015 a ranking of the 10 most cruel animal attractions :

  1. Walks on elephant back
  2. Selfies with tigers
  3. Walk among lions
  4. Bear parks
  5. Pick sea turtles in one’s arms
  6. Dolphin shows
  7. Dancing monkeys
  8. Visit of coffee plantations exploiting civets
  9. Snake charmers
  10. Crocodile farms

Ask yourself the good questions and stop the so much hears excuses such as « but it’s part of the trip » or « I’ve always dreamed of this ». A dream should not come true if it goes against the well being of an other living creature.

Now that you know, choose knowingly. Peace my friends.

How wolves change rivers – Sustainable man ©

backpack

What’s inside our backpacks ?

For our trip around the world, we choose the backpacking mode. We needed to optimize everything.

After some research on internet and discoveries of other bloggers experiences we have fulfilled ours backpacks. Our goal was to not exceed 13kg for each backpack. It’s the maximum advice for Florian and me. (It’s recommanded to carry a maximum of 15% of your weight) Read More

How deep is the ocean really ? – BuzzFeed ©

From the infinitesimally large to the infinitesimally small – Science et Vie ©

Food wastage footprint – FAO ©

Macro Timelapse – Daniel Csobot ©

Capture d’écran 2015-12-01 à 18.37.15

The project

During our trip around the world we are going to meet a lot of people. I thought it would be interesting to exchange about subjects linked to environmentals matters.

Thus, during our trip we are going to do project to bring awerness about problematic and solutions linked to global warming. We will see how the sustainable developpement is seen wordwild.

After a test in Marocco, I realised that it was very difficult to explain things without images. Therefore, I made a selections of explicit images to explain in a visual way the different issues of global warming.

Our meetings will be filmed because I would like to realise a document of testimonies. Those videos and interviews will take into accont two point of view: people living in the countries that we are going to travel and people travelling like us.

If you want more informations, you can go on the website WWEEDDOO. (in french)

Problemes-solutions

 

 

Garbage Man – Thai Life Insurance ©

Video: What if money was no object ? – Alan Watts ©