What a magic sight it is seeing an elephant in the street, especially a baby one!
I’d just ordered a meal off my favourite Ari street vendor and was about to secure my table (not that easy at this outdoor venue I can assure you) and then I saw her right across the street! I couldn’t get my video camera out fast enough, waved “I’ll be back” in my best Oz-Thai sign language at the confused waitress and left my table up for grabs.
I try to record the experience and I’m not sure whether to look at the camera screen or the little elephant with the… chain around its neck?!
Elephant from Matt Jermyn on Vimeo.
To resist the temptation to run up, hand over your 20 Baht (AUD $1) for a bag of cucumber and feed the little fella is tremendous. We’d do anything to get close, to touch, to feed them, to peer into their eyes and catch a glimpse of ‘the life of an elephant’ savor the moment and gush about it to friends and family back home.
I know it’s not a simple a problem but there’s money to be made from these little guys and every dollar we hand over will keep the trade going. I’ve been guilty for it in the past, but I wont be so ignorant the next time.
I hear ya about the exploitation thing, but I don’t reckon its as simple as that. There are no ‘wild’ Thai elephants, so if this little bloke wasn’t making money for his owner by entertaining, the only other alternatives are the building/logging industries (not a nice life for a elephant I am sure). Worse still, if there was no money to be made, then I don’t think many people are in the position to afford to feed him.
Just my $0.02 as we went through the same moral dilemma when we were in Thailand. Awesome painting none the less… I love the idea of subliminal surrealism too!!
If you have a chance maybe the Elephant Nature Foundation will provide you with a positive elephant encounter