Elephants lose and regrow their teeth six times throughout their life. At around 65 years old their last set falls out, in turn, causing them to lose ability to chew hard food. In the wild, the natural way for many elephants to die is through starvation.
Johnny is the youngest elephant at Elephants World (6 years old) and he is crazy. The only person who can get near Johnny is his mahout, Pizza.
Johnny is not an aggressive elephant but he is extremely playful.
During the full moon of the 12th month on the Thai lunar calendar, Thailand celebrates Loi Krathong. The local people make boats and send them down the river releasing any negativity and making a wish for the new year.
Aum Pan is 77 years old but has had a much easier life than the other elephants at Elephants World. Compared to Songkran, who is similar in age, Aum Pan looks 10 years younger.
Elephants eat 10% of their body weight each day, which means they spend most of their time eating. Twice a day, we weigh out fruits and vegetables and divide them among 10 baskets, one for each elephant. We usually aim for 16-18 kilos (35-40pounds) per basket.
Kamoon is one of the three original elephants at Elephant’s World. She’s easy to tell apart from the others because she is the fattest lady at the sanctuary.
Kamoon is 64 years old and she spent her childhood begging for food in Bangkok and Phuket.
On my second day at Elephant’s World I had the special opportunity to swim with several of the elephants in the river- no tourists, just the mahouts (elephant caretakers).
Standing face to face with these giant, gentle creatures in the water was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.
Malee is only 44 years old but like most of the elephants at Elephant’s World, she has had a hard life so she appears much older. She worked in the streets of Bangkok begging and having her photo taken by tourists.
Songkran is the second oldest elephant at Elephant’s World (74 years old) and she’s had a very hard life. She worked at trekking camps for 70 years, giving tourists rides. When she became too weak to work, her owner decided to donate her to Elephant’s World.
About 40 minutes from the town of Kanchanaburi, lies a beautiful camp dedicated to the well being of old and previously abused elephants.
The elephants is the symbol of Thailand and the top thing to do on most tourist’s itinerary is to ride one.