Saturday, January 15, 2011

Kuala Gandah elephant sanctuary, Pahang 13Jan2011

It has been raining daily here in Malaysia and the rivers are swollen and spilling their banks. Our usual picnic spot was inaccessible.
The kids wanted to find out the depth of the flooded water and went in search of a tree branch. They found one without much difficulty and dipped it into the water with outstretched arms. It was about 1 foot deep by the pavement.
The elephant bathing activity was cancelled out of safety.
Elephant skull and bones on display at the Information Centre
Registration for the elephant ride, feeding and bathing activity is done here. There is a cap of 150 visitors a day. The activities are free but a form requesting for donations was handed to us.
We arrived at about 12noon and waited for the activities to begin at 2pm.
Banana tree stumps being loaded onto a lorry.
The calves made loud, growling sounds that reminded us of a T-Rex when they saw the banana stumps.
Ean and Shibani found the gravel on the ground very interesting.
The crowd.
The elephants were showered to wash of the mud on its body and a brief commentary on the sanctuary and its elephants was made.
We were encouraged to feed peanuts to the calves.
Fai was fascinated with how similar the elephant's trunk was to a vacuum cleaner and finished the packet of ground nuts in minutes. Feeding time
A pile of papaya, watermelon and cucumber was free for the taking. There was plenty, so the kids could feed the elephants till their heart's content.
The mahout was very patient with our overzealousness and would just give us a gesture to get us to wait for the elephant to chew before handing it another piece. The elephant chewed on the watermelon the longest.
Their hands were covered with saliva by the end of the feeding session.
Fai had the best spot - on the elephants head.
Han chose to sit behind the Mahout because the elephants body had shorter hair compared to its head. Midway he sat with his legs up.
JY said it was uncomfortable sitting on the elephants backbone and felt like she was falling off as she swayed left and right.
This cat had 5 pairs of hands giving it a good back, shoulder and head rub. Purrrrrrr!

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