After reading concerns about the treatment of the elephants that ferry tourists up and down the steep approach road, We were keen to visit a more humane elephant experience. Dera Amer elephant village, 120 hectare elephant sanctuary. The sanctuary contains open bedrooms for the elephants, a watering hole, hospital and the owners and their family live ON the property to ensure they are safe and well looked after.
As we stroll through the property's entrance, we're greeted by one of the camp's resident females. Her name was Lucky and she was 35 years young.
We got to ride Lucky, with no harness, no heavy cradle just a blanket and our butts with the help up from Lucky's trunk.
I was reluctant about doing an elephant ride but the guides explain that their biggest challenge is giving them enough exercise.
In the wild they'd walk 30-40 kilometres per day and even on a property of this size it's hard to recreate that.
We got to feed Lucky a WHOLE BIG BAG of Bananas, I offered her a banana, which she gently took in the crook of her trunk and curled into her mouth.
We then got the chance to decorate her using water-solvent vegetable paints (vegetable oil and coloured plants) . While we clumsily colour in, the guide constantly talks to Lucky, patting her and gently cradling her trunk.
Even to the casual observer, it's clear the animals are well-looked after. Many of the elephants we've seen on the streets of Jaipur are wide-eyed with apprehension, here they're calm and relaxed.
Lastly, bath time. Using a stiff brush we scrubbed Lucky, her skin thick and coarse. I was worried I was pressing too hard but in the wild elephants rub themselves against boulders and trees far more vigorously.
Lucky was having a great time racing to the bucket of water as it filled up and spraying us with water as we washed her.
Overall, I feel like it was a pleasant experience for all. 🐘 #india#elephant#elephantvillage#lucky#jaipur
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My 2 favourite people and little me 💕💕 I'm so blessed to have the family I do. My mum is my everything and my grandad was my 🌍 and always will be. I have cousins so close I class them as brothers and sisters. I was never raised as an only child and the memories I have mean more than anything. Thinking of the future, but never ever forgetting the past.