Khmer warriors were fighting on elephant back
In the old days, each Ratanakiri tribe would own a few elephants but, time passing, the province started loosing its pachyderms.
An exceptional heritage was on the verge of disappearance, elephants but also all the knowledge passed on from generation to generation by families of mahouts.
A Conservation Project that is both cultural, ecological and social, AÏRAVATA allows a real interaction with elephants and teaches the public to know them, to take care of them and to ride them themselves.
Airavata was created to curb the trend, to protect on a small scale, a human scale, the last elephants of a province and the forest where they were born.
Like so many other South East Asian countries, Cambodia is suffering from a fast and uncontrolled development that is obliterating the formidable bio-diversity of a whole country. Hundreds of thousands of hectares were and are still savagely bulldozed, to such an extend that soon none of the emblematic animals of Cambodia will be left in the wild ! The tiger has already disappeared and the elephant is taking the same path.
Further down from the clear forest where our elephants currently evolve there is a superb mature forest of about 300 hectares that, thanks to a hilly terrain has been largely protected from deforestation. The three villages owning this forest have agreed to let us develop ecotourism in various forms.
Elephants did not come out of nothing.
They were men once.
A long time ago people found magic fish.
When they ate them, they became elephants.
Elephants are our brothers.
They are us and we are them.
When elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers.
The hare and the elephant don’t travel well together.
The elephant that is stuck in the mud will tear down the tree with it.
However little you think of the elephant, you can’t say it won’t fill a pot.
Better the cold blast of winter than the hot breath of a pursuing elephant.
Even a big elephant can be caught in one female hair.
The man who has mounted an elephant will not fear the bark of a dog.
It is no disgrace to move out of the way of the elephant.
Nature’s great masterpiece, an elephant; the only harmless great thing.
“The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?”