Saturday, May 2, 2009




As you know if you read my blog ,that the thing I love a lot about Thailand is the abundance and variety of birds , and of course my all time favorite ,ELEPHANTS. This is maybe a short post , but the other day when Ciejay and me were coming home from church and crossing the bridge over the River Kwai in our village of Wang Pho , she saw the elephants in the water and Ciejay said"STOP" and I did and , we found out that we were watching the trainers and the mama elephants , teaching the babies how to swim , the trainers had a long rope tied to the baby and they would take them (the babies) in the deep water and they would start kicking and spitting water and thinking they were drowning and then they would bring them back to the shallow water and let them rest and then do it again , after a few times the babies were swimming around like they had learned, it was so much fun to watch that I forgot I had left the camera in the truck and , when I got back I only got a few ending shots . I hope you enjoy them. You know that is just the way I taught my boys to swim , ,I was on a big rock with a rope tied to their waist and they would let go the rock and kick their feet and hands , while I held their heads out of the water, after a few minutes they were swimming around the rock on their own. how I wish I had a picture of that , that was forty years ago in Alaska down on the Kenai Pennsula ,at Daniels lake where we had a little fishing cabin.Wow how that filled my head with memories.
I know you have heard lots of stories of how horrible they threat the baby elephants to break their spirit and will, and make them afraid of the people before they can train them, well I can say for a certain that no baby elephant is poked with sharp stick and caged and starved and given no water in order to train them at our village . I have wittnessed first hand the training and of the babies . the Sai Yok Elephant Camp has about thirty grown elephants and lots of babies and the babies stay right by their mother's side all day , the camp is open every day for the tourist to ride and they have a show of the elephants dancing , and massaging the people while they lay on mats and the little babies run around and pick up the plastic water bottles and bags and put them in the trash can, it is so cute to watch . I have made a few unannounced visits , to the camp and have never seen anything but love and gentleness from the trainers here in Wang Pho. I can't speak for all the camps in Thailand but I can for the Sai Yok Elephant Camp , and for Elephantworld where my dear friend Moll-Lee live in the jungles of Kanchanaburi. Check out their web page and as I have said before come on over and we'll go take a swim with the elephants , you'll love it , and if you can't swim .I'll tie a rope to you and stand on the big rock and hold your head out of the water while you swim. Malcolm


Martyn said...

That's one kind offer about teaching me to swim, but with the possibility of water snakes about I'll give it a miss.

What an amazing day you and Ciejay have had. I will never forget my first ever trip to Thailand, me and my mate Tom were walking the streets of Bangkok looking for somewhere to buy a drink and happened. This bloke comes past us sat on a elephant, just strolling along the road like it was the most natural thing in the world to do. Me and Tom couldn't believe our eyes, you don't see that sort of thing back in the UK. If I had a camera on me then I think I would of dropped it as I couldn't believe the size of the bloody thing, they look so much smaller on the TV. That was something I will never ever forget.

You and Ciejay have had a marvelous experience today and with your love of elephants you will feel doubly pleased. For all the things that have gone wrong in your life then if they had gone right, you wouldn't have been with Ciejay to see these elephants today. Take that thought to bed and sleep on it. Sweet dreams cowboy.

Malcolm and Ciejay Burgess said...

Martyn, just like you the first time I saw and stood beside Moll-Lee I was awe struck as to how big she was , yet how gentle , (I know they are all not that way) but when I looked into her eyes it was love at first sight . And yes we did have a great day and Ciejay is still talking about it . I'm sure that in the good Lord;s heart and mind that for me he saved the best till last .
And if there's anyone in this world I hope to get to meet before I go to the next one it's You and yours.It's time to pee on the campfire for tonite and get some shut eye tommorow I'll be burning daylight . Malcolm

Mike said...

Malcolm I envy you living near the elephant camp. I just love the beasts and I think I would be down there every day.

I still have an issue with the way wild animals are treated here e.g gibbons but there are a lot of Thai people who are truly dedicated to animal welfare as well.

Jade said...

Oh I wish there were elephants running around in the Philippines too. I love Elephants!

I do hope that the Thai people continue caring for them.

Btw, Malcolm - about the confusion I just wrote a post about it to set things straight;)

Martin in Bulgaria said...

Hi Malcolm and CieJay,

I visited something similar in Sri Lanka so I know what it must feel like being so close to these creatures. I saw an Elephant once in Halifax, West Yorkshire in the winter snow one year. But only because the circus was in town! Take Care.