Sure, Sri Lanka has endless beaches, a rich old culture, a kitchen bordering on addictive and some of the most beautiful people you'll probably encounter, but it also has elephants. A lot of them. So, when my British BFF agrees to meet Sri Lanka with a week of gin-infusion cultural adventure, meeting with colossal creators goes straight to the top of our list of tasks.
But as real animal lovers we decide to transfer the popular elephant "orphanage", which is great with instincts that are more interested in murderous selfies than the welfare of the elephants. Instead, we decide to take advantage of a more ethical safari safari to find them in the wild.
There are three major national parks in which the elephant herds are located, but due to our journey through the northern central province of Sri Lanka, our voice gets our Minneriya National Park. The dominance is Minneriya Wewa, a tank built on the 3rd floorrd Century, the Minneriya National Park with an area of 90 square kilometers, boasts a variety of natural ecosystems with forests, bamboo stands, shrubs and wetlands that provide shelter for macaques, deer, leopards, and a few hundred wild Asian elephants.
Our private guide for this week, Dilan from Sri Lankan travel experts, Beyond Travel, recommends that it is best for us to visit the park later in the afternoon because elephants tend to target the water hole around that time.
It turns out that beautiful Dilan is a very wise man. Not only is it at this moment in the Minneriya National Park that it is unimaginable at this time (only three other safaris are seen within three hours), but for the first time we enter the park. And her big beast of a boy who had drunk along the road beside us, we are at Minneriyas, apparently on the way home from the elephant equivalent of a delicious lunch.
A safari and a driver are waiting for us, and we go out into the jungle, Dilan with an eagle's eyes showing the macaques, spotted deer, peacocks and flocks of rare birds within minutes of staying in the gates.
We are so excited about all the wild animals that we almost forget about what we are really here until it becomes an absolutely fascinating insight into the six teenage male elephants who enjoy their daily baths.
The elephants stop to size us, but with the joy of meeting, go straight to the business that moves and glooms when they play in the water.
One particularly irritated elephant pushes his unsuspecting friend into the water and then gives himself a huge triumphant smile. These guys are gay.
We know that perverse pachyderms, like humans, enjoy rich and complex social life, but they seem to have a sense of humor that does not differ from the average human teenage boy. So much so that when you fold your gargantuan back to the other with unholy joy, I expect it to stop and say a joke.
When we look at how joyfully they interact, I think how long I have heard that people are leaning on supporting more abusive elephant attractionists by claiming how lucky the elephants are, even though they are connected to rivers or a metal spike is lifted . Not to mention all the great entertainment they are interested in and pachyderms that are socially isolated, controlled and systemically abused as willing participants of the reconstruction plus 50 shades of gray.
But here in the Minneriya National Park we see how many really happy elephants look, without limitation, to wander how they like in the wild, where they belong.
The difference in their behavior is surprising. Unlike their captured cousins, none of these highly intelligent, complex beings had to endure "crushing." It is a process that involves imprisonment in a small cage, consisting of immobile ropes, beaten, crumpled by sharp objects, starved and deprived of sleep until the elephant is "broken" enough for tourists to ride or safely reach a meter without being trampled to death.
No matter how smart you want these traps on the market or how satisfied you are think elephants look, any attraction where you can ride, hug, feed or grab selfie with the wild animal is not the place where happy elephants live and you can almost guarantee that they have been broken. I'll jump out of my soapbox.
After spending nearly an hour flooded in the boobs of gorgeous boys, we slowly left the search for another elephant population of the Minneriya National Park, and soon we would spy another little elephant star, these a little closer to the road.
Judging by the dance suitcase that protrudes between the legs of the closest man, he is quite happy to see us. Seriously, this bad boy has a whale-sized tuna … and waving with great enthusiasm.
I think my crazy ghost blinks at me. Before Marvin Gaye buzzed through his other circular tube, we decided to offer an accelerated adieu because I do not want to be at the other end of 3 tons of perverse pachyderm.
We go further into the park looking for a few less exciting elephants and find a large group of women with a newborn baby who are still on their feet.
My BFF and I are missing our own children, and although we were quietly thankful to our lucky stars, none of them weighed at 120 pounds at birth, our hearts exploded into the mother's pulp.
While we were at a discreet distance, the ladies of this herd still surround the child and one angrily trumps towards us and clearly tells us to continue. This pair of human mums, in utter dissatisfaction with their gargantuan nurses, asks our driver to do so and let them connect with their child in peace and privacy.
500 meters later we are rewarded from the perspective of another larger group of about 30 elephants. It's not a manufacturer or nursing, so we'll stop again to quietly watch the intricate relationships, expressions of friendship and family affection among the animals. It's charming.
When we left the Minneriya National Park, we saw an incredible amount of wildlife and birds together with over 80 wild and happy elephants who do what elephants want to do exactly where they want to do.
Every moment was a full, unforgettable privilege, and we were given full gratitude not only to those people who had the foresight to protect these animals, but also to our super safari drivers and the wonderful guide to Dilan that he shared with us.
For more information on private and group excursions Beyond Travel in Sri Lanka, click on itE
Disclosure: Our Sri Lankan adventure trip was independently organized and paid.
National Park Post Minneriya – Ethnic Elephant Attractions in Sri Lanka first appeared on boyeatsworld.