They call her ‘the elephant whisperer”. Lek Chailert dedicated her life to saving animals. She is the founder of Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Her connection with elephants is amazing. It seems that Lek and these gentle giants understand each other on some subconscious level. Watch her put this elephant to sleep with a gentle lullaby. It is a beautiful thing to see. I hope one day I will find the way to make a trip to this sanctuary and experience it myself. Please, enjoy and SHARE.
In Asia, animals and humans are considered to stand on different levels. Most people there have no respect for other living creatures. Lek’s grandfather taught her to appreciate nature and to live in peace with it. When she was 16 years old, her family went to a logging camp. There Lek learnt about cruelty suffered by elephants working in tourism industry.
Lek founded the Elephant Sanctuary in 1996. The park provides residence for abused working elephants from all over Thailand. The Sanctuary relocated in 2003. Now it stands on 250 acres (100 ha) in a valley bordered by a river, surrounded by forested mountains. Each elephant here has a heart-wrenching story. Some have dislocated hips from logging, while others have old gashes from bull hooks — a training device.
Elephants are free-spirited animals. It is not in their nature to work for people. They are born to be independent. To train an elephant for any kind of work or entertainment, means to torture the animal until its spirit is broken. Most elephants are soaking with blood before they will submit.
Volunteers at the Sanctuary are very important for the residents. They help clean elephants’ shelters, prepare their food, and make improvements to the park. There is no riding elephants in the sanctuary, no tricks. Animals live and recover here in their natural habitat. The Park is also home for 500 rescued dogs, who need to be taking care of, fed, walked, played with as well.