Big Love: Images from My Adventure with Elephants in Thailand

Lise Funderburg discovered animals have much to teach humans about the real depths of connection

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Funderburg getting ready for her week of hard work at the sanctuary, where elephants (and many other creatures) abound

Rena Effendi

Easy-to-forage watermelons, part of the animals’ vegetarian diet.

Rena Effendi

One of the rescued taking an exuberant bath in the river in chiang mai province in northwest thailand. Volunteers fill buckets and wade in to splash the elephants who await their daily anointing.

Rena Effendi

A group that has been led to the riverside for communal bathing. Some stay close to shore, others go farther out for their daily roll and frolic in the water.

Every day mahout pah tee puts a fresh flower into a hole in the earlobe of his 66-year-old charge, mae jan peng. An abusive former mahout created the hole so he could attach a rope to pull the elephant along.

Rena Effendi

Some elephants arrive at ENP alone and wary but after a while attach themselves to a family or companion. They roam the sanctuary’s 200 acres free from danger and maltreatment.


Click here to read Big Love: My Adventure with Elephants in Thailand.


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Rena Effendi

First Published September 15, 2011

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