Moken boats
Elephant and guide

The Elephant ride

Elephants are kept and used for work in Asia since thousands of years. All that time, they were not bread in captivity, they were caught, if needed. The attempt to breed them is a fairly recent developement. Nowadays, many working elephants can't be employed in the logging industry anymore. So they need a different job, as keeping an elephant costs money which now can be made with tourism. As long as elephant tours take place in a shady environment, they are regarded as protective for the individual elephants, their keepers and the suitable environment, that would have to deliver the next generation.

When we arrived after breakfast, the elephants just finished munching their own breakfast of sugar cane next to a little creek. The one that took Jo and me for the ride even took one along the road as a kind of "chewing cane"...

Elephants having breakfast

 

 

 

 

Sue and Geoff on the ride

 

 

 

 

 

Sue's picture

The elephant trail went through forrest, rubber plantations and and paddocks. Most of the times, it was in the creek, which seemed to be good for the elephant. Not that much for the creek, as hundreds of elephant feet per day turned some parts into valleys and glens.

For the middle of the track a swimming break was announced. In fact, the break seemed to be most of all for the elephants to relax from their backpack. I had taken my sandals off, as I did not want to touch the elephant's skin with hard soles. When stepping down from the elephant, one fell down on the ground. Before I could get down between the elephants legs (which probably would have been a really bad idea) one of the guides had spotted the event and let his elephant pick it up.
curling the trunk
Looks like even the trunk needs a rest sometimes...
Jo and Ina
Jo and Ina (picture taken at the start)
delivering the sandal
swimming during the break
The swimming was certainly good, but one shouldn't expect too much. The water on the picture is pretty much all there was.
the elephant trail

 

 

 

After the break, we went back on the same track. When we arrived a little shop was open, where banana bunches were sold for small money. A good idea to have happy tourists and a little saving on the food bill of the elephant. I bought two of them: one for the one that carried me, another one for the elephant that picked up the sandal...
Elephant rides only take place morning to lunchtime, as it takes a long break for the animals to feed and recover.

© 3 pictures Sue Reid




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