The Love of Elephants

We spent 3 days at the elephant nature park NW of chaing mai with Jen and Katie from Scotland. Here’s their blog post about the visit, it’s a good one. Please, when you think about the kind of experience you want when traveling, consider what went into that. In this case, the Phajaan “ceremony” that young elephants intended to work are subjected. It’s brutal and unnecessary, but the tradition continues.


By Jen


Lek means small in Thai. It’s also the name of the indomitable lady who set up the Elephant Nature Park, about an hour and a half north of Chiang Mai in Thailand. Besides her petite frame, there is nothing small about her. She is one amazing woman who has taken on everyone right up to the Thai government fighting for the rights of elephants.


Half of the 5000 elephants which remain in Thailand, the wild ones, are protected. The others, the working elephants, are classed as domestic animals and as such have almost no rights at all. They can be killed or tortured with little penalty.

In 1989 logging was banned in Thailand. It meant there were nearly 3000 working elephants out of work.

There is a traditional way of making working elephants submit to the will of their master, or mahout. It’s called Phajaan or “crushing”. At…

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