On our first morning in Chiang Mai we stepped outside our hotel in the Old City onto Ratchadamnoen Road with a map in hand but really with the intent to just allow our feet and eyes to lead us. One block later we came to our first wat.
Tag Archives: thailand
I'm just about to climb over the top of the gate and into the elephant barn to join Lek Chailert as she softly sings lullabies to Faa Mai and the other elephants in the barn, when Kim loudly shouts my name in a panicked voice. I look down towards the ground just in time to see my backpack – filled with my camera, lenses, audio recording gear, and travel notebooks – get whisked away into the darkness by an errant elephant trunk.
In just one short week we will finally be on our way to Thailand. This trip is all about elephants, and we'll be spending our time volunteering at two different sanctuaries where captive elephants rescued from lives filled with hard labor and mental and physical abuse have an opportunity to spend their days in as natural a state as possible.
In April 2012 I wrote a post about the harassment and raids at two highly respected animal sanctuaries in Thailand, Elephant Nature Park and Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand. With less than a month to go before we embark on our adventure to to the country, I wanted to write a follow-up post to unravel what has proven to be a very convoluted sequence of events and find out whatever became of the confiscated animals and the criminal charges.
Although I left my heart in Africa last year a part of it now resides in Thailand, a country I've never been to, as I follow the day-to-day progression of events at two internationally respected wildlife sanctuaries. The Elephant Nature Park (ENP), and Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), have been repeatedly raided by armed government officials from the Department of National Parks (DNP) in what appears to be retaliatory actions for statements made by ENP and WFFT decrying the illegal wildlife trade in Thailand, and the Thai government's suspected complicity.