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What is the Mekong Elephant park's policy regarding elephant welfare?
Our philosophy is to never require our elephants to act in a behavior that is not natural to them. All unnatural behavior is forbidden on site. Ridding and bathing with elephants is not permitted. Visitors have the chance to only observe these beautiful animals in their natural environment in order not to disturb them.
Why do elephants have a mahout?
A mahout is an elephant trainer or keeper. Usually, a mahout starts as a boy in the family profession when he is assigned an elephant early in its life. They then remain bonded to each other throughout their lives developing a relationship like no other. This enables the mahout to recognize signs of illness and stress in their elephant.
Why do mahouts ride the elephants?
Only the mahout can ride its own elephant whilst sitting on the back of its muscular neck. By riding his elephant, it allows the mahout to advance at the same speed than the elephant and to go into places in the forest where alone he could not go. This is even more the case during the rainy season. The weight’s weight is of course very light in comparison to what the elephant may support. That being said, we don’t allow anyone else beside the mahouts to ride their elephants, as allowing strangers to ride on elephants’ neck could create stress and distraught.
Why may I not bath with the elephants?
Elephants love water so much that they play and move around whilst bathing. To do this, no need to say they need space. As it is not natural for elephants to bath with people by their side, it can cause stress and they need to receive the order from the mahout not to move which puts an end to all their fun.
What is the string wrapped around the elephant's neck for?
The string has a bell attached to it. Elephants are very silent animals. Therefore, it is nearly impossible to hear their moves. If they do not have the bell around them, the mahout has much difficulty locating the elephant in the forest.
Where do elephants sleep at night?
Elephants eat all night long and therefore need a different place to stay every night where food is sufficient. There is currently no other solution than to put them on a 50 meter-long chain during the night. Our elephants were born around humans and will seek for food that is familiar to them, such as corn and sugar cane fields. This could lead for them to stroll out on their protected area with the danger of being hit by a car, get electrocuted by fences, injure people and destroy crops in neighboring farms. This can often lead to a human/elephant conflict. This situation can become dangerous for the locals and for the elephants. Experts agreed that night chains do not negatively impact the psychological well-being of the elephants, as long as the chains are sufficiently long, and allow them to roam and eat in their natural habitat.
How can I choose a respectful place to see elephants?
It is important to choose a place where elephants are allowed to just be elephants. If you do not feel convinced by a place, do not go!
Can we volunteer at the park?
How can I book?
How can I pay?
In cash in Euros / Lao Kips / Thai Baht / US Dollars or via credit card (3% bank fee surcharge)
What is the difference between the privileged instants packages and just the entry ticket to the park?
By booking a privileged instant package, you are given the chance to get close to the elephants, live further intimacy and enjoy being with them in a small group. With the park entry, only observation is possible.
For any further questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our Contact Form