Happiness is Moms and a Mud Puddle.
March 8, 2013 8:35 AM   Subscribe

Baby elephant Navann plays in the mud pit and takes a dip in the river with his mother and nanny at Elephant Nature Park in Mae Tang, Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. [slyt]
posted by quin (23 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Everyone loves jumping up and down in muddy puddles.
posted by pracowity at 8:43 AM on March 8, 2013

Is there a way to strip that horrible music and just let nature be nature?
posted by Fizz at 8:43 AM on March 8, 2013

It's a cute video - but things like this make me very sad. I don't know about this park (although it has been raided) but many of the "reserves" visited by tourists in Thailand are exploitative and unpleasant for the elephants. The training frequently involves punishment, and elephants are taken from the wild.
posted by Gilgongo at 8:45 AM on March 8, 2013

I (briefly!) rode an elephant in Northern Thailand and was heartbroken to see scars on the back of the elephant's head (presumably from the mahout.) OTOH when the elephants were done for the day, they were just wandering around the camp eating bananas on the hills and looked much much happier than any American elephant I have ever laid eyes on.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:50 AM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

For the record, Elephant Nature Park is NOT one of the creepy, exploitative so-called reserves. They're a famous, legit rescue organization.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:57 AM on March 8, 2013 [9 favorites]

joyceanmachine: that's great to know, and suggests I should have checked a bit more before posting (or at least read wikipedia).
posted by Gilgongo at 9:10 AM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Is there a way to strip that horrible music and just let nature be nature?

Dude, that's the sound of the High-lonesome Pachyderm Ensemble just offscreen.
posted by dobbs at 9:11 AM on March 8, 2013 [5 favorites]

For me, the moment about 3 mins in when the one adult elephant is gently stroking the other adult elephant's head with its trunk is the best part.
posted by papercake at 9:16 AM on March 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

posted by Ironmouth at 9:51 AM on March 8, 2013

*sighs of joy and big grins. Thanks quin for this delight on a wintry afternoon in NYC
posted by nickyskye at 9:56 AM on March 8, 2013

I have been there. It's totally legit. They don't allow anyone to ride the elephants and most of the animals are rescued from logging operations in Burma or from begging on the streets of Bangkok. There are many Western European volunteers spending between a week and a few months there.
posted by Parsnip at 10:06 AM on March 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

/aww indeed. Pro tip re the music: Switch off the sound :-)
posted by nostrada at 10:24 AM on March 8, 2013

The worst thing would be to see this in person, because you'd want to squish that baby elephant so much but it would flop over on you and you'd be the squished one. So unfair.
posted by orme at 10:46 AM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

My husband and I went to the Elephant Nature Park last February and bathed those elephants! Threw buckets of water on 'em while they happily sprayed each other in the river. They're incredibly sweet animals, though many have the saddest back stories. Like horses, elephants used to be industry animals whose commercial usefulness waned in the twentieth century, and many have suffered terrible abuse in inhumane conditions as a consequence.

A tip for anyone who visits southeast Asia: please, please, please patron humanitarian parks where the animals are treated with respect and love. At ENP, elephants roam in large swaths of protected land and bathe in clean rivers. We saw so many sad animals in Bangkok, including elephants shaking in terror while owners trotted them down the busy streets. Even in Chiang Mai, people could ride atop elephants as guides lead them down cement roads. Elephants aren't evolved to exist in loud, scary, busy places where traffic sounds like the onslaught of predators. They're geared to stampede at those sounds, not withstand them.

The Thais recounted tales of spooked city elephants who snap and trample their owners; in those cases I feel much sorrier for the animal.
posted by zoomorphic at 10:49 AM on March 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

WWWiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeee!!! *Splash splash splash* Wwiiiieeeeeeeeeeeee!
posted by New England Cultist at 11:44 AM on March 8, 2013

I know, I want to hug them!!! I wish elephants wanted to hug me! We will play in mud!

I read a photographic book about baby elephants in Kenya and the pictures were SO SWEET. They seem like such affectionate creatures and it described a lot of mourning behaviors and social networking/memory that was very sweet to read about.
posted by xarnop at 12:22 PM on March 8, 2013

I can't watch this too long without breaking down over the thought of how many of these beautiful creatures don't get to experience this.
posted by scody at 12:29 PM on March 8, 2013

Holy crap - my own kids never looked so cute. LOVE!
posted by PuppyCat at 6:04 PM on March 8, 2013

In every way, the little guy acts exactly like a human child would in the same situation.. it's amazing. I watch toddlers' first-time reactions to the wading pool at my local rec center and the transition from trepidation to delight to unbridled joy and subsequent all-out OMG THIS IS AWESOME delirium is frame-for-frame identical. When he realizes he can slap his trunk and spray water (around the 1:50 mark) I laughed out loud.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:58 AM on March 9, 2013

He was having so much fun that it made me a little envious. How come I can't have a trunk???
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:37 AM on March 9, 2013

"Is there a way to strip that horrible music and just let nature be nature?"

I would normally agree, but this happens to sync up perfectly.

Thank you, quin. This made my day!
posted by Room 641-A at 4:39 PM on March 9, 2013

Are we nearly there yet?
posted by homunculus at 9:52 AM on March 10, 2013

« Older Not just right, but necessary   |   Before the dark times... before the Empire. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments