Lampang Elephant Conservation Center- Thailand
The Lampang Elephant Conservation Center is trying to build up the elephant population by treating sick or injured elephants from the wild. They artificially inseminate elephants and help the elephants who are not able to return to the wild due to injuries. Eventually the center tries to return all the elephants to the wild but we saw a few who have injuries from landmines who were too injured. Those who would not be able to survive in the wild stay here in Lampang.
The Lampang Elephant Conservation Center is a huge complex that is mostly jungle with some elephant rides and shows to help bring in money to feed the elephants and provide medical care. The elephants are not being mistreated and here they do seem to be living well.
My favorite was seeing the baby elephant calf sleeping by his stepmother. His real mom died birthing him. Stepmom’s real calf had just left to go out on his own so she was lonely. Now she is raising this little guy. He is 2 months old and sooooo cute!
We went on elephant rides. The elephants liked to frolic in the water because it was a hot afternoon.
My view from the top of the elephant when we were in the water.
I fed this elephant some sugarcane. Others ate yams- it depended on their age. Their trunks were so fun to watch, they would just reach out and let you know they were done with their food and wanted more. Kind of scary at first but you got over it quickly.
This little guy was 1 1/2 years old and really like playing with my tour mate Matt. He kept trying to steal cameras and sunglasses and put them in his mouth. Apparently elephants have an oral fixation stage too.
This was my favorite stop in Thailand by far. If you do go to Thailand make sure you stop by here or one of the other registered elephant conservatories that treat elephant injuries and treat the elephants well. There are not-so-reputable places by the sides of roads that are not good and not something to support.