Thursday 16 January 2014

What is cuter than elephants taking a bath?

Baby elephants of course! There are two babies at ECC, the first is know as wild baby, he was born in the wild but his mother died, possibly shot, but our guide wasn't totally sure what had happened to her. So, baby ended up at the sanctuary, it isn't all sad though. One of the female elephants lost her baby, (well that bit is sad too) so she has become the step mom to wild baby, which is a happy ending after all.

Wild baby is about 10 months old and still needs to be fed milk, 4L at a time...

He also gets cooked rice, and like any baby starting to feed themselves, it is a messy affair with food been thrown everywhere!

But how can you get angry, just look at that little face! He also has a toy to take to bed with him, apparently he totally trashes the toy within a couple of weeks and they have to get him a new one. He spends most of his time in a paddock next to the hospital, so that the vets can keep an eye on him. Plus each day he is taken up to the breeding paddock (it is a secure area) to meet his step mom and they get to hang out.

In Laos, elephants don't get given a name until they are 3. First a shaman visits them to bless their 32 souls and then they are able to start their month long training. Once the training is done the shaman visits again. He write names onto pieces of sugar cane and then the elephant picks on, which ever he picks will be his name!

After we had visited wild baby we went to the nursery by boat to see the other baby and his mom. Mom is very protective so we had to stay in the boat, only the mahout goes near them.

Because they live in the forest and other people go through the forest to gather fruits or work, mama elephant wears a big bell around her neck, this is to warn everyone that it is a mama elephant and her baby. Anyone who hears the bell knows to leave the area immediately. 

They both adore sugar cane so we got to feed couldn't get enough and so tried to get on the boat! Mama would take a piece, tuck it in her trunk and then take some more, it is quite amazing to watch them close up.

Love this picture of baby and Eb-kun, they both look so happy!

Of course, it all ended up in the bath! Baby doesn't seem to be too keen to go in, it is their winter so he feels cold, the mahout used some sugar cane as a bribe to get baby in... just like human kids really!

So, what did we do after overloading on baby elephants? Let's just say it had something to do with Angry Birds...

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