I don't know about you...
...but I was (and still am) a huge fan of movies such as Hatari
and Elephant Walk.
So is it a wonder that I jumped at the chance to ride an elephant???
Who can resist this face???
As we arrived at the "Elephant Ranch"...
The elephant trainers rode the elephants out for us to meet and greet.
This is Danny...
Do you think it's a coincidence we rode Danny?
Not only was he named after TheChief...
...but he was the biggest of all the elephants!!!
Some got to ride individually on the smaller elephants...
...others rode two at a time.
And of course...we had a couple of little stragglers!!!
It didn't take long to get used to the motion of the elephant's walk...
...a slow, rhythmic walk, similar to a horse...
...only much, much bigger!!!
Each of the elephants were guided by the trainer who sat in front...
...we, the riders, sat behind the trainer and just enjoyed the ride!!!
These two young-uns followed us throughout the ride.
Now mind you, elephants have a bit of a mind of their own...
...especially when they're hungry and they see a tasty looking tree!!!
I have to admit that I had a bit of animal rights angst about the whole concept.
Were they captives? Were they well treated?
So I asked the trainer about it....
He told us that the elephants are not captive.
Most of them had been rescued, and when necessary, nursed back to health.
There was an enclosure of sorts that the elephants stayed in over night,
but it was open, and they are totally free to come and go.
He told us that one of the females took off awhile back and was gone for about 6 months.
She came back, and is continuing to stay.
A few of the elephants were born while in the encampment
and they've stayed with their mothers while growing up.
The two young ones were born here.
The elephants were well cared for.
Big Danny was quite accommodating to us when it was picture time...
...but I think he was more interested in snacks!
They're quite regal animals aren't they?
No...that's not a tear. Just a bit of goopy eye junk!!!
This is one time when massive wrinkles are the highlight of a picture!!!
This little one liked the idea of snacks too...
This girl had a great time...she was there with her parents...
...but she rode a smaller elephant by herself.
She laughed the entire time!
She has a great smile!
For more images from Little Corners of the World...
Click on the images below!