“How many nipples does she have?” I asked as I saw her loping around on bad legs. “2, just like us Lob,” replied our guide. With every question I had, our guide Petch’s Thai smile grew wider and correspondingly, my curiosity grew more unhinged. I felt I had many questions about elephants and so ignored the sharp elbow to the side from my wife and asked away. “You ask many questions, Lob.”

About an hour north of Chiang Mai is The Elephant Nature Park. You can almost hear the Jurassic Park theme play as you enter the leafy jungle road. Tall, green and lush trees trap the humidity at a low level, and even though I’m in an air-conditioned van, I sweat. For a city boy like myself, it’s rare to see an animal that is not a dog or cat. So when I first saw elephants on the road the on my way to the park I was floored. Big, hulking yet effective in their strides, I saw about half a dozen elephants saddled with wooden boxes carrying two people on their backs and a guide. I was amazed as to how animals of such power, and from what I’ve heard intelligence, can be trusted with three souls on their backs.

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