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Elephant Trek

Australia
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Elephant Trek

I would like to know if there are any elephant parks in Phuket (I know of the one in Chang Mai) where people can just see and maybe feed the elephants without riding them. I have read too much on what damage is done to the elephants with the seats and how they are treated that there is no way I could ride them. I would just love to see the elephants of Phuket in a place like Chang Mai.

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
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1,158 posts
26 reviews
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1. Re: Elephant Trek

HI as far as I know there are no placed like that here as all the elephants are in commercial trekking camps, the mahouts have the normal wooden stick with the pic as they have for hundreds of years.

You can go by Kok Chang though and feed the elephants and not have any pressure to ride them if you want. There is a banana kiosk with an optional donation box. You can bring your own fruit and veggies too.

however the elephants will have a chain on their leg to keep them in the waiting area for the treks.

If you go early in the morning like around 8am you can see the mahouts giving the elephants their bath and also around 5pm.

There is a bar with shakes, beers and cocktails and it is nice to watch the sunset as the mahouts ride the elepahtns (bareback) to their sleeping places.

however perhaps this may still be not acceptable to you.

The website is here

http://www.kokchangsafari.com

Australia
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2. Re: Elephant Trek

Thank you so much for all that information. It sounds exactly what I would like to do, thank you again.

melbourne australia
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3. Re: Elephant Trek

Whilst I'm sure there is cruelty to Elephants in Thailand, I would like to pass on my observations when we rode the elephants:

1- there was so much padding under the chair, I reckon you could have strapped it to me and I would have been able to take people on a ride.

2- the Elephants looked in excellent condition and were certainly not mistreated in our presence. The elephants did not act in any way that suggested they were in fear of their keepers. Even at the start when a grumpy old mahout was yelling and waving at them, they just ignored him and casually sauntered across.

3- the Elephants pretty much did what they wanted on our stroll through the jungle. Stopped when they wanted to, had a snack, rubbed up against trees. There was only ever gentle prodding from the mahouts (though their elephant sticks did look nasty), which the elephants pretty much ignored till they were ready to move.

4- Elephants have been used as beasts of burden for centuries.

Surely it's in the interests of elephant keepers to keep their elephants healthy, if they want to make a living off them. I'd imagine it's a big investment.

Everyone should go for an elephant ride, and decide for themselves.

Fort St. John...
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773 posts
30 reviews
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4. Re: Elephant Trek

Glad you are an elephant expert there Wildo.

Australia
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5. Re: Elephant Trek

It is up to each individual as to whether they wish to ride the elephants or not. I choose not to as I have personally read and heard too much and most of the information is from the Elephant Park in Chang Mai.

Sydney, Australia
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3,083 posts
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6. Re: Elephant Trek

I'd like to commend you Dels3 on your decision not to ride an elephant....I too refuse to ride an elephant let alone pay an elephant handler in any way that would promote this practice....

Paying a mahout to feed and wash an elephant is not going to help this animals welfare and will only help line his pockets...

The Chiang mai Elephant park is the only elephant park committed to caring,helping and nursing this wonderful animal...

See the wonderful(sarcasm)way they break in baby elephants on Youtube so people can ride them....But a warning...It is heartbreaking...!!

melbourne australia
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7. Re: Elephant Trek

No, no expert Snow Pirate. And you ?

They were just my observations.

Oh, and I eat red meat too. And have caught fish and killed chickens for my dinner. Just so you have a complete picture of the truly heartless villain that I am.

Brisbane, Queensland
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579 posts
27 reviews
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8. Re: Elephant Trek

Sorry coco - you seem like a really nice guy, but just because its on youtube doesnt necessarily make it a fact.

Would you rather the elephants end up in Bangkok being killed in car accidents, because this is where they go when they cant earn money locally. I'm thinking the mahouts have families to feed and care for as well and its probably not that easy to re-train in another career in Thailand.

Since logging was only stopped in 2000 there is obviously a long way to go to sorting out this problem.

Whilst its great that people on the Phuket forum are really concerned about the elephants, what about child prostitution? Poverty is often the root cause.

I wish someone who does really know about the elephant situation in Phuket (lets forget about Chang Mai for the moment as its the other end of the country) would post something positive and pro-active to let us know all know.

Yours sincerely Sharyn

Sydney, Australia
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3,083 posts
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9. Re: Elephant Trek

Elephants,child prostitution,eating whale meat,killing baby seals,Indian dancing bears...For what..??...The fact is these animals and their families all suffer in some way...!!??...

We all have a choice...Ride elephants or not to...!!??...

Dels3 and I have chosen not to...

100 years ago,there were 100,000 Thai elephants...Now they are at an endangered 5,000...

I have learnt what I have learnt from The National Geographic and googling:thailand environmental concerns....and various other sites relating to elephant trekking and I am sorry if my telling this story upsets anybody...Actually I hope it does as it upset me when I found out the breaking in methods of these poor animals...

Read and watch -thailand environmental concerns-then make up your own mind...!!!

Regina, Canada
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1,364 posts
172 reviews
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10. Re: Elephant Trek

Deux fils, there is endless articles/information on the abuse of Thai elephants when they go through their "breaking in" process known as phaajaan. That's not to say that the elephants that are now in these parks and giving elephant rides are currently being abused. The good parks do take care of their elephants. The point I believe Coco and Del3 are trying to make is they do not want to condone the breaking in of these creatures to make it possible for elephant rides. Elephant Nature Park does an excellent job of informing /educating people on these matters. I too have seen this on National Geographic .. regardless of whether it's been on youtube or not it is a realilty. There's your facts.