When you turn around to see your guide has bolted from the group you quickly realise that you should also be running.
Today we visited The Elephant Nature Park founded by award winning conservationist Sangduen 'Lek' Chailert. The park rescues injured, sick and mistreated elephants. (Google it) We spent the day feeding, bathing and walking alongside elephants, many with leg or back injuries from car accidents or being over worked for tourism.
We were able to watch a baby elephant go to bathe with its mother and nanny. The guide was telling us that as a young male, the baby can be naughty sometimes. About 2 minutes afterwards the elephant starts to approach us and we are told to start calmly walking away. The next second the guide is pegging it as the baby elephant is now in full pursuit running after us. The group of ten split into two and he flicks his trunk at three people who thought a side step onto a bank would be adequate. Luckily a mahout came to the rescue by running towards the baby and tapping it on the trunk and distracting him with food. Thai health and safety at its best!
Later we were able to watch a family of elephants eat, they had free reign of the area and you'd be surprised how easy it is for one to sneak up in you.
Here is me and Dan with the baby after his attempt to play with us.
We were even able to meet Lek and ask a few questions.
We have chosen not to ride an elephant, visit a zoo or visit Tiger Temple/Kingdom whilst in Thailand. Whilst I am sure that not all elephant parks mistreat their animals we wanted to support a good cause and in no way do we feel like we have missed out.