Sunday, February 1, 2009

awe in khao yai

After our time with the lovely gibbons, we went off to enjoy Thailand's oldest national park, Khao Yai. This is the best place in the world to catch a glimpse of the wild Asian Elephant, so we shelled out to go on an all day safari with a small group of annoying short-trip tourists with identical machine-gun laughs. Trying to ignore their stupid comments, we rode and hiked around the gorgeous monsoon forest and even spotted a wild gibbon family, which was especially fruitful being able to see our friends in the wild after having worked with them so closely.

After nearly 10 hours in the park and very little hope, we spotted a lone young male elephant muscling its way through the dense forest. It always bewildered me that something as large as an elephant could live in the jungle, as they would have to spend most of their time pushing and pulling just to get through. In any case, we got to watch him for a few minutes before he retreated beyond where we could see. We have now been so lucky to have seen some of the rarest and most endangered animals Asia has in the wild: leopard, tiger, and elephant. I hope these animals stick around long enough for my kids to appreciate them.

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