I was taken here as part of a group tour. It is difficult to make judgments on the basis of one visit, but I did not like this place and would suggest others think carefully before going there. The elephants in the river certainly provide an attractive opportunity for tourist photos, but I wondered in retrospect whether they enjoy having to stand in the river for a couple of hours at a time. We arrived towards the end of the morning session and by that time the elephants were just standing, not being bathed or doing anything else much.Some had chains attached to their legs and at least a couple were chained in one place. In the main part of the facility, which we visited next, most of the elephants (presumably those which had just been brought back from the river) had been taken to a large bare area, without shade or food, so visitors could get photographs with them. I do not know how long they were required to stay there. A few elephants were chained in the roofed enclosures. Particularly disturbing was the sight of a baby elephant, chained up alone on a short chain and rocking compulsively back and forth in what appeared to be distress. We were told that some of the elephants are orphans but there is also an active breeding program, which raises the question of whether the baby elephants which visitors can pay to feed are orphans or babies taken from their mothers. I would be glad to be convinced otherwise, but I had the strong impression that, whatever good intentions there may have been when this place was founded, the welfare of the elephants now comes a distant second to their commercial exploitation.
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