We visited the park yesterday with my boyfriend. Unfortunately we arrived late because of heavy rain (just twenty minutes before the park closed), but the staff wasn’t in a hurry at all. A guy took us around the museum and the park and gave us a lot of information and stories about the 31 elephants. The elephants are trained by the “mahouts” with fruit and not violence. The elephants don’t get forced to do anything the don’t want and through mating season they are kept somewhere apart from the park. Yes, they are chained during the night and when they eat for safety reasons – so they won’t fight or run away. They also get to have a day off from the park. Overall a very good impression. We chose not to ride on the elephants, just to see them. They let us feed them and even asked us to stay to see the one elephant doing its bath. For me the elephants seem relaxed, friendly and happy, and the staff don’t seem to fuss about getting more money as other places in Bali.
Another thing to add – as we stayed more than half an hour after closing we came find our bike with a flat tire. The staff stayed and even brought a mechanic to fix the tire.
So in general a very good experience and a great “thank you” to the amazing staff! – Simona W