Visit an elephant conservation center in Thailand for a new experience

(© Cheila Anja –

The plight of the elephants in Thailand is slowly beginning to change for the better. Elephant conservation centers in Thailand are beginning to gain a lot of attention from tourists, and this is changing a lot of minds in the Thai tourism industry.

As tourists from around the world become more aware of the need for conservation of the world’s natural resources, they have become equally aware of the tragic history of the elephants in Thailand. Tourists who once would look forward to the chance to ride on the elephants are starting to be intolerant of the practice.

The number of elephant conservation centers in Thailand is on the rise as elephant handlers re-think their business models and cease the cruel practice of allowing people to ride their elephants from sunup to sundown.

But there are still some tourists who don’t understand what the elephant conservation centers in Thailand are offering. There have been many comments on the internet chat rooms by tourists who take the attitude that they could see elephants at home in a zoo. Why should they visit these nature parks and conservation centers to see Elephants?

Zoo Experience

There is a world of difference between zoos and elephant conservation centers in Thailand that these skeptical tourists don’t seem to understand.

Elephants in zoos are generally in small habitats designed to favor viewing angles for the public over space and comfort for the elephants. They may appear listless, as they have nothing to do all day. Or they may exhibit signs of stress that the confines of their habitats are causing.

Swaying back and forth, pacing or displaying repetitive behavior is a tell-tale sign that a captive elephant is undergoing mental stress.

Visitors to zoos aren’t likely to be impressed by their visit. They stand on the opposite side of a moat or bars of a cage and simply stare at listless elephants who stare back at them.

It’s no wonder that the tourist would think twice about visiting an Elephant conservation center in Thailand. They probably feel that the experience wouldn’t be much different than visiting a zoo. But they’d be wrong in this assumption.

Elephant Conservation Center Experience

The ethical elephant conservation center in Thailand is set up to allow the elephant’s freedom to go and do whatever they want to within the expansive area of the park or center. They are usually located along a river that provides the elephants with a clean source of both water to bathe in and drinking water.

The first thing that tourists to these nature parks and conservation centers notice is that there is no separation between the elephants and the visitors. Visitors are free to touch, feed, and bathe in the water with the elephants; in fact, they’re encouraged to do so.

Being able to watch the behavior of elephants who are in as close to their natural environment as possible is being able to observe a happy elephant who at peace with themselves and the world. And that experience is something a zoo can never provide.

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