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Hanging Out With Elephants | by Dan Hewins
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Hanging Out With Elephants

A couple of days ago we spent the day at Patara Elephant Farm where we

got to be "mahouts" (elephant owners) for the day. Patara adopts

healthy elephants from owners who don't wan them anymore and attempts

to breed them to maintain Thailand's elephant population, which has

been cut in half over the last 40 years.


It was SO fun and amazing. We learned how to tell if an elephant is

happy and healthy, how to clean them, what and when they like to eat,

and all about the current issues facing the domestic Asian elephant

population in Thailand. We also learned about Thailand's

reforestation plan and the process of reintroducing the elephant back

into the wild.


Hillary's elephant was Nui. Nui came to Patara from the circus and

was very smart and understood a lot of commands compared to some of

the other elephants. Also, she was very happy and cute. At first we

were a little timid around the elephants but it didn't take long to

get comfortable. We rode them (bareback style) to a waterfall for

lunch where they relaxed and played in the water.

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Taken on July 5, 2010