Thaibodia (Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary)

Thai massage on elephant
Nathan lays hands on the grandmother elephant at BLESELE outside Uttaradit. Thai elephant massage?

Cutting banana trees
Chopping down and carrying banana trees back to the eight hungry elephants.

Shoebox truck
Riding back to the sanctuary on top of the homemade "shoebox truck" loaded with bananas trees.

Playing with Star
Playing with Star, the rambunctious 10-month-old baby.

Butterfly afoot
One of the hundreds of butterflies circling the flowers sets a while on my foot, dirty and scraped by vines.

Elephants bathing
One of the mahouts sits scrubs the elephants with a special root as they bathe in the pond.

Dreaming with butterfly
Dreams With Butterflies rests in a bamboo hammock in the heat of the afternoon.

Seedor Somai
Anon and his family's elephant that was terribly burned in a forest fire some years back.

Elephant boarding
Katherine shows how to get on an elephant.
Our second day, we are invited to ride our elephantine friends.

Nose!
Pang Lom, the sweet five-year-old, reaches inquisitively towards my camera.

Riding elephants
Nathan astride Seedor Somai, and me on Pang Tom, sitting bareback on the neck at the base of the head
with our feet resting behind their ears. They turn away from gentle pressure. Unless there is something tasty.

Pi Sot
Pi Sot looking magnificent and laughing in the field while the elephants feed.

Nong Wam
Nong Wam, the mahout of Mee Boon Mee.

Touching moment
A touching moment of trunk fondling as these three stand together intimately.
This is the first time that Pang Noi has let another elephant close to her little baby, Star.

BLES
Pi Sot squats near Pang Noi and baby Star.

On top of the hill
Nong Dor astride Mee Boon Mee or another female.

Drinking
Drinking homemade and store-bought spirits with the mahouts after dinner.
I'm cuddling Toyota the cat on top of Naam the dog, while the rest of the pack convenes around N.