Travel Blog

What It's Like To Spend A Day At An Elephant Sanctuary

Oct 18, 2022

While elephants have long been symbols of wisdom and strength, they are kept in dire conditions when used as pets or for entertainment. Elephant sanctuaries are dedicated to rescuing these animals and giving them the space and freedom they need to live as nature intended. This is why many people choose to work at these facilities. Get a glimpse into what an elephant sanctuary in Thailand is like before you go!

Prepare To Be Amazed
Once you step inside an elephant sanctuary, the first thing you see is an elephant. They're surprisingly large, but don't underestimate their cuteness. Every one of them is large and full of grace; each is a dazzling grey color, and all around the sanctuary are trees and birds. You might think it's difficult to befriend a giant, but you'd be wrong - these beautiful animals want nothing more than to make friends with human beings, and the moment they see you they'll run up to greet you with a warm embrace.

Pack For A Day Trip
Pack a lunch, snacks, and plenty of water. Wear comfortable clothes, closed shoes or sandals, and sunscreen (lots of it).  When you arrive at the sanctuary, you'll be asked to sign a waiver and have your hand stamped before proceeding onto the property. It is important to note that there are some strict rules to follow while visiting an elephant sanctuary: no touching the elephants, no feeding them anything other than food provided by their keepers (you can buy snacks from their gift shop), no yelling or running around, etc. 

Caring For Elephants
Elephants are large animals, so they need a lot of room to roam. That’s why the sanctuary has expansive grasslands and natural-looking enclosures to make them feel comfortable. Just as important is their physical care. They get washed by humans or sprayed with water before each meal so that they can maintain their thick skin and keep their bodies cool on hot days.  Since elephants only have two sets of teeth in their lives, caretakers provide enrichment such as branches from the fig tree to help maintain healthy teeth and gums.

The Magic Of Seeing Elephants Up Close
You may have heard a story or two about the elusive and endangered Asian elephant, but you can't really understand what these giant creatures are like until you see them up close. For example, did you know that elephants enjoy playing with water in their spare time? They will often dig holes in muddy banks to find just the right spot to lie down and submerge themselves in water. And they love to use trees as scratching posts to relieve their itchy skin! These massive mammals are also very family-oriented animals. When an elephant matriarch dies, her female children (daughters) help care for her babies so that they grow up knowing how to behave as mothers themselves.

Know That You Made A Difference
When the day is over, go ahead and feel comforted by the knowledge that you helped make a difference in an elephant's life today. You are putting yourself out there, taking action and doing what you believe in. It's not always going to be easy. These are wonderful animals that have faced difficulties in their lives but if they know you care, they are very grateful!