07 February 2017 by Anna Staford
Elephants are unique and incredible creatures. Most of us at some point may have dreamt of riding one of these majestic animals and if you are lucky enough to have ever had a close encounter with an elephant, you will know that these mighty beasts are in a class of their own.
In many countries like Cambodia, Laos, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand, elephants have been used to work for centuries. The “mahout” (elephant riders/carers) culture is deeply rooted and in certain families, having an elephant is a family tradition going back generations. Of course the elephant needs to eat, and the owners need money to feed them.
In Thailand, for example, the banning of logging in 1989 meant that many mahouts had to find another source of income; many were forced to beg in the streets or to work in the illegal logging industry. This was one of the reasons for the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre promoting an initiative to use elephants in the tourism industry, as a means of providing employment for both elephants and mahouts.
You can take an elephant ride for as little as 1,400 Thai Bhats. Imagine that! Fulfil a life long dream for only £32! What could be wrong with that? Read on and you will see.