Saturday, April 17, 2010

Elephant Therapy

Pay attention, Readers. This one is good. I had excellent Animal Therapy today and am feeling sooooo good tonight.

My brother Randall, his girlfriend Vinita, and I went to the Elephant Nature Park today. It's a sanctuary for elephants that have been injured, abused, orphaned--much like the animals at Harnas.

In Thailand, elephants are used for the tourist industry, begging on the street, and used to be used for logging. In all those cases, the animals are often mistreated, and for a long time they didn't have a place to go.

Along came a wonderful woman, Lek is her nickname, and started this place for these beautiful and intelligent creatures to mend and live out their lives peacefully and safely. Right now she has 31 elephants of all sizes (and a baby due any day). Some were abused by their mahout, one stepped on a land mine near Burma, several are blind or deaf, a couple had been hit by cars--you name it, these poor babies had suffered it.

Along with hearing their stories and learning a lot about their plight, we had such a fabulous time today and we got to help out as well.

We fed them, played with them, let them kiss us, talked to them, heard stories about them, and -- my favorite part--we got to help bathe them in the river. You just can't imagine how fun it is to hang out with a bunch of elephants in a river. I'll include the video.

The babies were amazing--several really small ones (9 month old male who was hell on wheels, and a 1 year old whose birthday we got to share--they gave her a special treat of fruit, leaves, and other favorites, all tied up to look like a gift). They were so much fun to watch, cavorting around the adults and terrorizing their handlers.

All in all, I feel so renewed. Animals can sure do that for me.

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