I visited here after reading bad reviews of the Pinnewalla Orphanage.
On arrival I felt happy with my choice as it felt smaller (only 8 elephants) and less touristy / busy. But as the trip continued I did start to question whether it was ethically right and at times felt uncomfortable and like they were exploiting the animals for money rather than genuinely interested in their welfare.
I understand the elephants were rescued and are not able to return to the wild but one was bred in captivity which made me think whether the original objectives have changed!? Volunteers are clearly gap year students rather than experienced veterinary or welfare people.
As per previous comments I also experienced the disappointment with tips but I guess despite all the questions and emotional ups and downs it is a one in a life time experience.
Washing them in the river was great and clearly something they enjoy, however not sure about the ride as this feels like something more circus like - I read on the website they do quite a few per day.
I guess for me I was quite emotionally torn during the whole experience. Enjoyable vs Guilt ridden - 30 mins was enough otherwise i'd have thought too long and hard about it. Overall it's up to individuals to decide and make their own options so go with an open mind and just do what makes you feel comfortable.
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