Sangduen Chailert, founder of Chiang Mai's Elephant Nature Park, first sang to a baby elephant that was difficult to handle six years ago
The founder of Chiang Mai's Elephant Nature Park (ENP), Sangduen Chailert, likes to sing lullabies to the animals to put them to sleep.
Sangduen said she started singing to a baby elephant that was difficult to handle six years ago. After a while, she realised her songs were calming it down and made it easier to approach.
She then tried it out with other animals and realised the singing relaxed them so much it put them to sleep.
While 7-year-old elephant Fah Mai took a nap after a lullaby, three-year-old Dok Mai climbed on top of her.
Sangduen said Dok Mai is an elephant prone to jealousy, and that the others all have their own characters.
"Their behaviour is not different from humans. From my experience, some elephants are very shy, some are funny, some are serious. There are various personalities that I have seen, like one who has a loud voice, or they argue because they are jealous," she said.
Although Fah Mai was born in the sanctuary, she's one of a few. Many of the elephants at ENP were abused and then rescued.
Sangduen said animal abuse stemmed from fear.
"We are afraid of big animals. This is the reason why humans build their walls to protect themselves from what they are afraid of. And from the way we try to protect ourselves, we come into conflict with animals. Our fear is of the obstacle (to having a good relationship with animals)," Sangduen added.
ENP is a 280-acre sanctuary, home to more than 70 elephants.