Monday, August 14, 2006

Elephants

I thought I'd blog this photo first as it is one of the ones that has rated highly on "interestingness" on Flickr. I took this photo in Malaysia when I visited an elephant sanctuary. The sanctuary was about 3 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. Its purpose is to take in elephants that have been rescued from captivity or removed from the rainforest where they were casuing lots of damage to the local plantations and were in threat of being shot by the farmers. Whilst the sanctuary looked after the elephants and aimed to re-release them into the wild (often in Thailand where they had more rainforest to wonder around in), they had to make money. Of course they did this from tourism. This involved tourists paying to come and feed the elephants, ride the elephants and have a bath with the elephants. Elephants were chained to the floor or a keeper to keep them from roaming. It was amazing being able to get so close to these magnificent creatures - they are like big breathing wrinkly rocks, but I couldn't help but feel uneasy by their chains. This photo was taken whilst a baby elephant was lying down being washed by his keeper.

Elephant in chains

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