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leighd

Looking for info on swimming with elephants in the Andaman islands

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Im heading to Thailand soon and would love to get some shots of the swimming elephants in Andaman i was wondering if anyone had any experience here and can recommend and tours or how they did it?

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The liveaboard boats that travel from Thailand to India (where the Andaman Islands are) know the details, suggest you call them.

 

Last info I had was the handler wanted $500 to put his Elephant in the sea!

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The liveaboard boats that travel from Thailand to India (where the Andaman Islands are) know the details, suggest you call them.

 

Last info I had was the handler wanted $500 to put his Elephant in the sea!

 

Hi,

 

You will have to get in touch with http://www.barefootindia.com/ They have an elephant called Rajan which is taken out to the open ocean and you get to snorkel/swim with it. Check for prices though, they can end up charging you a fancy sum. Ideally if you can gather enough people on the boat to join you then it may be a little easier on the pocket :-) Also please arrange this in advance if you are on a liveaboard from Thailand, as you will be short of time and i do believe the Elephant is quite temperamental now a days.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Cheers,

 

Diggy

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Im heading to Thailand soon and would love to get some shots of the swimming elephants in Andaman i was wondering if anyone had any experience here and can recommend and tours or how they did it?

 

I'm not sure if there are any liveaboards that operate out of Thailand to the Andaman/Nicobar Islands anymore due to the distance. However, there is a nice Thai liveaboard called "Panunee" that runs trips in/out of Port Blair (India) - http://www.panunee.com/trip&price2_1.html

 

I'm pretty sure they dive with Rajan the elephant.

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FYi, elephant swimming for the loggers was happening for quite a while. While elephants are supposedly natural swimmers, the ones I saw needed to hooked into the water. It was a bloody affair and if you look at Rajan's (or any other elephant's) skin behind the ears, you'll see a lot of the hook scars. I thought it was totally amazing to see elephants swim in the sea (having read about it in the books), so we hired an elephant to do the same. I stopped after seeing the handler hacking at the elephant. Just so you know a bit of the history involved. . Rajan is around 60+ now and the last of those elephants trained to swim. I hope they don't try to train another elephant to fill the old pachyderm's spot.

 

Here's a BBC broadcast on the elephant and the history:

 

http://bbc.in/z3nhBw

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