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Watch: Adorable Elephant Waves Hello to Tourists Rafting in Thailand

A group of tourists in Thailand recently got a wonderful surprise on a rafting trip. Their boats floated right past an elephant on the banks of the river, who kept waving at them with its trunk.

In a video shared by The Independent, you can see the elephant, named Plai Dan Siam, wiggling the tip of his trunk in what appear to be kind greetings to the very happy onlookers. A bystander reportedly said that the elephant kept waving until the very last boat had floated by.

It’s unclear exactly where this video was recorded, but Thailand has several elephant sanctuaries where you can ethically observe these sweet giants if that’s one of your major travel goals. The Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, for example, is a safe refuge for rescued elephants. 

You should, however, avoid places that offer elephant riding experiences. Elephant riding has been exposed as an abusive practice that often involves cruelty and serious physical harm to the animals during the training process. In general, the best and most ethical way to experience wild animals is to observe them from a distance in their own natural habitat, under the care of an expert guide with the animals’ best interests at heart. Before you book, you should also check whether or not your travel booking site stands up against animal cruelty.

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  1. I eas in Thailand and found their concern for nature to be almost non-existant. As part of the.tour, we did go on an elephant ride but none of it felt right. They are such gentle harmless creatures and tge never ending “route” they walk day in and day out must be mindlessly frustrating for them. I really pray that Thailand starts to create more sanctuaries. Also the Slow Loris who has very poor defenses against capture by humans, is exploited by shoving them into the hands of unsuspecting tourists for a photo session which of course has a price. These nocturnal creatures have their poisonous fangs removed and are so cuddly to look at but in truth,not tame at all. Their every movement speaks of escape but they are slow. We can only believe that as humans evolve, these cruel practices will cease.

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