We rode elephants!!! This was one of the things on my bucket list from the beginning and it could not have been better. I know that there are mixed feelings about wether riding elephants is good or bad for the animal, but having researched and experienced I would definitely do it again under the right circumstances. Ran Tong Save and Rescue Elephant Center was incredible! There are more than 9,000 asian elephants in captivity in Thailand and many of them are not cared for very well. Some are used for heavy labor such as logging, some are made to stand out on street corners to earn an income for their owners as street beggars. Ran Tong hears of mistreated elephants, purchases them from their current owners, and rehabilitates them. They are kind and gentle with these amazing creatures and it really shows. They never use hooks, sticks, or those seats that are strapped to an elephants back. Without the support of tourist funds the elephants that are rescued at Ran Tong would still be in the poor conditions that they existed in before. Here they roam freely, under the constant watch of individual Mahouts, or elephant trainers. Each elephant has a personal relationship with his or her mahout, the elephants exclusive best friend.
Elephants eat A LOT! One of the biggest problems with private elephants is the amount of food required to keep one healthy, around 200 pounds per elephant per day.
We started out by borrowing a set of clothes that we could get dirty. Then meeting our elephants. Just like making friends with our kids is easier if you give them a treat, we got to feed the elephants hunks of sugar cane, and they were excited.
We learned our directional commands from the Sweedish gentleman who runs the camp and then it was time to load up. Maggie and Max's elephant was the only one that did this trick, so fun! The rest of us walked up a ramp and hopped on.
Tell your kids no worry about our elephants. They are like a puppies, but just big body size."
Tessa, "Today we rode elephants. We fed them, rode them, and went in the water with them!!! Me and dad went on one together and I advised a guy to say peach pie to get his elephant to move and it worked!!! There was a baby and it was cute. We made friends with everyone with us. I loved it!"
May 25, 2016