Since Ligeia was only 2 kilometers away from the Elephant Nature Park where she and Mindy did the week of volunteer service, Ligeia decided to spend Friday afternoon and evening visiting the elephants. Oh how great it was to be back!
Her visit began with lunch which was yummy and full of vegetarian choices! And then of course there were the elephants! She spent most of the afternoon with Kham Paan, her favorite elephant! Her mahout recognized Ligeia, smiled and waved (he is burmese and doesn’t speak much English or Thai). But he ran right over and threw Ligeia some bananas to feed Kham Paan. It was wonderful. Ligeia talked with her and watched her bathe and of course got lots more pics of her.
Kham Paan at play
Kham Paan taking a bath
Ligeia also visited Dani for Mindy and got videos of Dani eating and scratching herself. Mindy loved it!
Dani eating a squash
Ligeia also made sure to visit and take pics of other elephants too. Here were three bathing together in the Mae Taeng River:
It was great to see Lek (the founder of the park) interact with the elephants. The week we volunteered Lek was in Germany so we missed out on that. Here is Lek spending time with a baby elephant:
The highlight though came in the evening just before dinner when Ligeia just happened to ask Lek what she was up to. Lek said that she was going to sing a baby elephant to sleep to which Ligeia immediately exclaimed, “well I don’t want to miss that” and followed her to the baby elephant enclosure that Ligeia knew well as “stop #1” of the poop clean up when volunteering. Well Lek just climbed right through the wooden fence with all the elephants walking around and sat directly underneath the baby elephant and started singing a Thai lullaby and swatting the underbelly with a shirt. She later told me that this is to simulate the mother’s tail. Mother elephants do this a lot for their babies and it’s comforting. I just loved watching her do this…and so did the other visitors there.
While watching, I heard Lek say, “Ligeia you can come in if you want to”. Shocked and so excited, Ligeia didn’t miss a beat and climbed right through the way Lek had. She stood over in the corner away from elephant backsides, as she learned in the safety talk when first arriving to the park. During this time an elephant decided she wanted to eat some of the leaves on the tree above and positioned herself on the wooden fence to try and get it. As you can see she was successful:
Thinking this experience just couldn’t get any better, Ligeia hears Lek say, “you can come and sit next to me” (under the baby elephant!). Ligeia almost cried realizing how lucky she was! There she was sitting next to Lek singing under a baby elephant. Lek eventually gave Ligeia the shirt to swat the elephant with and the elephant kept struggling to stay awake! 🙂
Then the mother came over and oh my god, from the sitting position, elephants look HUGE! Ligeia was a little nervous knowing that they could step on her and break something, but Lek assured her that it was ok. She told her to just let the mother check her out. The elephant took her trunk and smelled Ligeia all over. That alone was a fantastic experience! Before Ligeia knew it, the elephant had positioned herself over her so that she was sitting directly under her belly. Lek told her to scratch her belly and she liked it! Ligeia felt like the luckiest person alive!!!!This was the only picture Ligeia got of the experience because of course she wanted to experience
it. But you can see Lek with the white shirt she was using and the baby elephant’s closed eyes:
This goes down as Ligeia’s best elephant experience ever!!!!
Ligeia and Mindy :):)