Thailand is famous for it's elephants. We went to Maesa Elephant Camp, located just north of Chiang Mai, to get a glimpse of these pachyderms close up. When we arrived, these guys were getting their regular river bath. Those people down below were the lucky ones in charge of catching the elephant poo downstream.
Once inside, we saw the elephants pull logs, paint, and play soccer. Afterwards, we got to hang out and feed the elephants. They are crafty!
This incident resulted in a crazy picture and a trail of elephant slobber running down the back of my hair. Luckily, Sondra had the clean-up covered. After this guy put the hat on my head, he took it back and patiently waited for me to deposit a tip in his trunk/ snout/ nostril. He was kind enough to wave thank you.
From the arena, we moved upstream and got to take these guys for a ride. The news frequently portrays the cruelty of keeping such animals in captivity and after riding along for awhile, it was quite evident that these guys were not treated like members of the family.