A series of adorable images of a few elephants playing a game of “guess who” with curious tourists in an animal sanctuary seems to break the cuteness barometer.
The Elephant Pride Sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is home to a group of four elephants—Bunchan, Nonie, Dumbo, and Dido. Globetrotters are able to visit, feed, and play with these animals up close.
Chanchia, 40, the owner of the sanctuary, snaps images of these animals almost every day. She recalls that a lot of visitors who adore the time they spend with the elephants have funny conversations around them.
In one image, a small and playful baby elephant named Dido uses his strong and gentle trunk to cover the eyes of an unsuspecting tourist as if playing a game of “Guess who.”
Unperturbed by the majestic animal, the tourists also seem to enjoy a little game with these elephants.
Sharing a little more about the sanctuary, where rice is grown too, Chanchia said, “[T]he elephants are domesticated like a dog or a cat, but we class them as our family members, not as pets.”
As elephants have an average lifespan of 60–80 years, the sanctuary is dedicated to providing them the care and support they need in their natural environment. In fact, Chanchia says, “our families live side by side with them here.”
“Our goal is to allow people to experience the amazing elephants while maintaining the honor and pride of these incredible animals,” Chanchia said.
The sanctuary provides visitors with the facility to enjoy with the elephants by providing them with an intimate experience, to walk in the jungle alongside them, feed them bananas, and watch them play in the mud or bathe in rivers.
However, currently owing to the pandemic, tourists are unable to visit the sanctuary due to travel restrictions put in place. So Chanchia and her family are running out of funds to look after these animals, which require almost 440 pounds (approx. 200 kg) of food per day.
“Normally we earn money from tourists who visit but now they cannot come to Thailand because of coronavirus, which is a big problem,” Chanchia said. “We don’t have any choice other than to ask people to donate.”
Caters News Agency contributed to this story.