Elephant Experience

Hanging out with elephants was everything I hoped it would be. So cool to interact with them and feed them.

The elephant experience was a short bus drive from the camp. The elephants were in the field when we arrived. 

elephants splashing water

We first met them along a fence. Steve got very up close and personal — that’s the elephant’s mouth — when one put its trunk on his head. The sploge on my shirt is from one poking me with its trunk. There’s a reason why they tell you to wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. Their skin is not like I expected. It feels like suede, with little prickly hairs.

We then moved to the feeding shed, where we got to make and feed them lunch. It was fun to use a cleaver. We may need to get one. The surrounding mountains are beautiful too. 

feeding shed with mountains

We learned elephants dance when they’re happy (two of them were moving in sync, like a Motown band) and they live to be about 69. Once they lose their last set of teeth they can no longer eat properly and they die. These elephants were 16-69. The don’t develop the skin coloration until they’re older. The oldest elephant was blind, so you needed to touch her trunk before feeding her. She got the idea very quickly. 

After lunch it’s bath time, which they do in pairs. Bathing helps cool them because they don’t sweat. Elephants used to be used in logging and other industries. A lot of them are now unemployed — it’s funny to think of an animal being unemployed — and feeding an elephant is expensive, so sanctuaries like this are important. 

The second pair of elephants brought snacks with them, and washed them before eating. Who knew they did that?

As we left the feeding shed one of them followed our group along the fence. We think it made a friend. 

elephant by fence