For as long as I can remember I've wanted to meet an elephant up close and personal. I couldn't do this at most zoos because the elephants are always really far away in their pen and of course, it's not allowed. So I've been determined to find a place were I could touch an elephant and I found it in Bali! The Elephant Safari Park is a santuary for elephants rescued from Sumatra, Africa where they are still being hunted for their tusks or killed by annoyed farmers who don't want to share their crops. They are on the endagered list because of a long history of this. The Safari Park rescues these elephants and brings them to Bali. This journey takes at least five days. My guide explained that each person is assigned an elephant and they train with that one elephant and no others, so they get to know and trust one another. He had been with Nookie for 9 years. Some guides had worked with their elephants for over 15 years.
We were able to walk onto the park grounds with the elephants, help bathe them, swim with them and ride them. It might have been the coolest 4 hours I've ever spent in my life. I teared up a bit at how serene their big eyes were, looking right into my soul it seemed. The shear size of them made me sweat a bit. Just being in the presence of an animal that big is humbling. I rubbed their ears, scratched their backs and put my bare feet on Nookie as he toured me around the grounds. What an amazing energy these creatures have. I hope we can figure out how to keep them on this planet. The Safari Park is helping with that.