ENP | Elephant Nature Park
Field Journal - Thailand
ENP is an impressive sanctuary and the locals are always willing to throw out a little constructive criticism of my work.
"Visiting Thailand means seeing the most tropical and exotic parts of Asia. Spending time with these people, and understanding their respect for animals is second to none. Not all sanctuaries are created equal, however, as elephant tourism is a constant issue. Riding an elephant means torture. It means, the elephant had to go through a vary hardcore beating to lose its spirit. Therefore, it will do as a master says to do, allowing for a tourist to come into town, spend an hour on the elephant's back, then leaves. For me, Lek and ENP are at the top of the list of places to visit. She has created a massive sanctuary in a number of places in Asia. Her aim, to allow people to come, visit and watch elephants roam free. She allows the curious to stay, the even more curious to help.
I came to Chaing Mi, her first sanctuary, where I left two murals. One at the entrance and one in the drive leading into her facility. I encourage everyone to visit the right locations, to ensure the safety and well intended methods to be used and supported. Lek is a leader amongst the conservation of animals. She is a walking example of kindness and love. I am grateful to be a small part of her everyday journey for these beautiful elephants."
-- Matthew Shapira