Green Valley Elephant CampElephant camp in the green valley
In the breathtaking wooded landscape of Kalaw, the elephant camp visitors gather, feeding, washing and interacting with the seven 11th century elephant keepers and the veterinarian. This elephant was saved from the timber economy - after it was "retired" by the state - and now lives its last years of life in the tranquil shrine of Green Hill Valley.
It is a family-owned camp designed not only to offer shelter to former working bulls, but also to help the communities, conserve the countryside and create employment possibilities for the population. It is this dedication and their elephant well-being that make Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp our favorite experience in Myanmar.
Hikers have the possibility to hike through the woods - accommodation and short walking tours - and thus get to know the indigenous landscape and people.
Green Hill Valley Elephant Sanctuary, Myanmar
I am, like all pet enthusiasts, skeptical about most of the self-proclaimed elephant reserves. When I first learned about Green Hill Valley Elephant Sanctuary (GHV) in Kalaw, Myanmar, I wasn't sure if I should take the leap - would my funds be used to help or harm this soft giant? I found what I found promising: no elephant riding or shows, just a full days to bathe and feed the lovely mammals.
So I made my reservation and the next dawn I curled through quiet rolling countryside - through the green valley itself - on my way to a gentle grooming session. First the camp coordinator, Saw, presented her plan and gave us some information about Myanmar's elephant. In Myanmar there are still about 7,000 11,000 of which only 2,000 live in the wilderness; the other 5,000 are in the possession of family homes or the state and are mainly used for the harvest.
GHV Founder and Founder had members of the GHV families who worked for the state-run Myanmar Timber Enterprise and were felled in Kalaw for years. They have taken in several abandoned elephant and started a reafforestation programme in 2012 and have replanted over 45,000 elephant species since their creation in 2011.
You should be spending the days as the Myanmar term for elephant hunt, nourishment and bath. At the GHV there are currently seven animals - six female and one young man - and our first job was to give them breakfasts. A mature Asiatic elephant can feed about 180 kg per dog per night, so it is advisable to stay as long as you like.
The GHV provide a healthy and nutritional nutrition for the elephant - i.e. squash, Wheatballs, banana crops and the choosy and choosy even Kokosnussreis. When I slapped his snout gently, I placed the gourd on his "finger", the tip of an elephant's brow, which is used to grasp people.
I was relieved, so he took the meal and let my cam be. Then, I feed the oldest elephant there, held up a wheel of corn and put it right into her lips. Next it was Elephant Spa is. Each elephant was taken to the riverbank, two at a stretch, and we each received pinstriped pants to wear.
The elephant has only perspiratory gland around its toe, so excursions to the rivers are as much for cooling as for cleaning. He gave us a bundle of cortex, a natural'shampoo' whose resins help prevent elephant skin from diseases, and then they scrubbed - on the back, down the trunk: never miss a part.
Climbing quickly on the elephant's back is permitted as it facilitates cleansing behind the flaccid Dumbo-earings. By the end of her swim, Shu Lay War, one of the older bitches, had a good squirt herself - bulls really like playing. It' luncheon season, a three-course affair: vegetablesamosas, beans' beans' redsoup and vegetables' curries with lapatti; roasted handmade vanilla in butter, a typical desert, round it all off.
A natural fibre feed for the elephant provides high-quality (brown) papers, an option that GHV does not let pass. After writing a post card for my girlfriend and the only word game I could think of (Poolly), it was finally decided to study more about Asiatic bulls. An elephant's full frame, which died a few years ago, was exhibited accompanied by charts describing the elephant's body.
I learnt here that Asiatic bulls only get their cheek teeth at the early thirties and that 70% of the male teeth increase and the female teeth do not at all. 30 mins before the elephant walked freely into the woods for the night, there was just enough spare minute to go to the vet's cabin equipped with conventional and contemporary medicine and eventually planted a flower.
At the end of the 19th centuary Myanmar was the world's biggest exporting country for tea. For me, to plant a forest would be a symbolic opportunity to reverse the harm my compatriots had done a hundred years ago, as the GHV is now doing with its elephant protection and afforestation projects. The Green Hill Valley is a real elephant reserve that lives up to its name as a five-star hotel.
The elephant receives the attention it deserves, the environment is pleasant for humans and pets equally. I' m a free-lance travelling reporter in Myanmar.