Bathing with Elephants at Bali Mason Elephant Lodge
If I’m scrubbing him, and you’re scrubbing him… Then who is scrubbing me?
He’s scrubbing you…
Mason Elephant Lodge tl;dr
- Elephants Like Bathing Too
- You’re Going to Help
- You Get a Small Brush
You get to do a lot of stuff here at the Mason Elephant Lodge. You can watch elephants, feed elephants, pet elephants and more. One of the many things we are able to do at the lodge, one of them is to wash the elephants.
The most memorable activities there was when we were allowed to get an even closer encounter. Stripping down to our swimwear, we were escorted further into the open grass areas where our elephant was waiting for us to try to scrub him down.
Yes, I said scrub him down… and scrubbed him down we did.
I’m sure if somehow conveyed my thoughts of returning the favor, my pachyderm could have scrubbed my back equally as well as I did his; which would not be saying much since it was like scrubbing dried leather. We were assured that he was loving every second of our attempted cleaning. Nadia and I both took turns feeding him shoots of bamboo as the other washed his leathery backside.
As it turns out, they eat a bamboo. They eat a lot of bamboo. Due to their inefficient stomachs, they defecate nearly the same amount of bamboo each day… Each and every day. And the only thing they do more than eat, is poop. And there’s a lot of poop; hence the cleaning.
After our pitiful attempt of an elephant scrub down, our elephant carried us out into the man made lake barebacked. Allow me to paint this picture of the lake that is in the center of everything.
Water from all the other ponds flow into this large pool which happens to be teeming with koi fish babies; probably the eggs slipping through the fine mesh down stream. From time to time you’ll see staff scoop out coconut shaped vegetation out of the water. Its vegetation alright. Digested vegetation.
I could not help but remember that as we rode out into that very same pool of brownish water.
While my elephantine partner was enjoying his time spent in the water, whether by deadly intent or slapstick humor, my trainer would try to get our elephant to stand on his hind legs as if he was the mighty steed Silver and I was a scared to death Lone Ranger. I bet you are thinking that it wouldn’t matter whether I fell because I was in a pool of water.
Lest we forget, it was a brownish, koi fish egg laden, poop floating water that I was indeed deathly scared of falling into.
When we went up, I gripped the trainer so hard I could feel his heart beating. Fortunately for me, I gripped both the trainer and elephant so tightly that our knuckles turned white. There was no way I was going to fall into that nasty water.
A Story for the Kids
Similar to my modeling experience, washing this gentle giant was an experience of a lifetime that I’ll treasure forever, but I doubt I’d do it again. I’m simply not an animal lover as much as some people I know. Again, while enjoyable, once was more than enough for me to hang up my elephant trainer smock.
- Jalan Elephant Safari Park Banjar Desa Taro Tegallalang, Taro, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia
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