Southeast Asia: Witness animals in their natural homes

Southeast Asia: Witness animals in their natural homesElephant Nature Park, Thailand

Wildlife Attractions in Southeast Asia…

Whether it's the elephants of Thailand, the Komodo dragons of Indonesia, or the tigers of Peninsular Malaysia, Southeast Asia is known for its rich biodiversity and thriving wildlife. Animal attractions are an important part of tourism, something that everyone would want to experience. Here is a list of ethical wildlife parks you can visit across Southeast Asia to spend time in the wild, without contributing to the ill-treatment of animals…

Elephant Nature Park, Thailand

Thai elephants are world-famous and it would be a shame to not get a close look at these gentle creatures when you're in Thailand. Many elephant parks in the country are notorious for their appalling treatment of these friendly animals but there are a few others that take excellent care of them. Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand is a sanctuary in the truest sense of the word - it is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of elephants. Every elephant is carefully tended to, while also ensuring they have the freedom to be themselves. Interactions are kept to a minimum in order to protect the elephants as they heal from past traumas.

Semenggoh Nature Reserve, Malaysia

A forest reserve with semi-wild orangutans roaming free in their natural habitat - this is Semenggoh Nature Reserve. Young, rescued, or orphaned orangutans are cared for and provided proper nutrition to help them grow strong and healthy. No restrictions are placed on the animals. They are usually seen coming by themselves from the nearby forests during the feeding hours. You can visit the Orangutan Gallery and Botanical Research Centre to learn more about these wonderful animals and their habitat. Regular buses ply between Kuching and Semenggoh, and the commute takes around 40 minutes.

Kho Yai National Park, Thailand

Thailand's oldest National Park, Kho Yai is a pristine rainforest spread over 2,168 sq km with a thriving wildlife. Elephants, deer, macaques, gibbons, bears, and jackals are some of the commonly spotted mammals here. A plethora of resident and migratory birds make these jungles even more lively. In fact, it is believed to have the largest population of hornbills in Thailand. You can even spot reptiles like crested lizards, reticulated pythons, Chinese water dragon, and water monitors at Kho Yai. A safe distance is maintained between the animals and the visitors, to ensure the animal isn't disturbed.

Komodo National Park, Indonesia

Indonesia is home to the legendary Komodo dragon, the heaviest lizard on earth. Komodo island itself is a part of the Lesser Sunda chain in Indonesia and forms the renowned Komodo National Park. These rare lizards inhabit the rugged island along with other animals like deer, boars, water buffaloes, Asian palm civets etc. The island is also known for its flourishing marine life. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. The national park is best reached from Labuan Bajo by ferry, and tours can be booked to get to different parts of the island.

- Courtesy: Ithaka Travel

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