Thailand has an almost 5000 year old tradition and know-how of domesticating the Asian elephant for war and logging purposes. Since the ban on logging in the late 1980’s, about 5000 of these elephants need to be taken care of and need about 200 kg of food each day. Tourism seems to be a sustainable solution: initiatives vary from elephant rides to elephant camps where they are fed and bathed by visitors.
Follow us to not miss out on the complete article!
Claire & Marcella
- Take a visual tour of Thailand!
- Check out this interactive map for the specific details to help you plan your trip and more articles and photos (zoom out) about the area!
9 thoughts on “Photo of the day: the bathing elephant of Ayutthaya, Thailand”
Indeed. These 5000+ elephants need some way to be supported. Some people seem to deeply against animal shows, but we are not sure what real alternative there are. What from your experience in Thailand do you think?
Thanks Mel & Suan for your non- trivial comment. It is a serious matter and we are still researching it and talking to many people involved on both sides. The answer is definitely not obvious. We hope to publish an interesting article on this in the next few weeks so we will hold our reply for now 😌
Thanks. Well, for this topic we are serious, for once! When we were at an elephant camp, it was so nice to interact with the babies. They are so playful. But then we thought to ourselves, did what we pay go to the welfare of these gentle giants or did it line the pockets of someone?
Yes indeed, especially with animals and environmental initiatives it is often difficult to distinguish the real non profit from the marketing non-profit… May I ask which camp you visited?
Honestly cannot recall. Because it was part of an overall package. Which made us suspicious all the more!
Yeah indeed 😉
And it was in Phuket by the way…
Interesting and nice comments which I agree with in the main. Yes we do have to support these beautiful animals but I hate the though of riding them. And especially training then to do any tricks. I just hope they are well cared for. My plan is to work in an elephant sanctuary next year to. Ilu tree my time. It’s a tough situation isn’t it.
Hi Sue, thanks for your input. Yes, it is a tough situation. So far, we have witnessed close connections between mahuts (elephant handlers) and elephants. Fantastic if you can work in an elephant sanctuary!