The Indiana Insider Blog

Elephants Up Close and Personal in French Lick

Last weekend I was able to visit French Lick (Southern Indiana). Let me first say that I so enjoy the trips I take to the southern part of the state due to its vast difference in landscape. Rolling hills, beautiful trees … just gorgeous. But our visit revolved around one thing … elephants.2016-05-14 11.23.15Wilstem Ranch has become “home” to three beautiful (Mekia, Lovey and Lou) elephants from March – October.

Now, there are two ways visitors can interact with the elephants:

  1. A fun, informative and educational session where you learn anything and everything you’d like to know about these animals and are encouraged to ask questions. ($25/person)
  2. A spa treatment of sorts, where you (the visitor) gets to actually take part in bath time for the elephants. ($59/adults and $49/kids)

We were able to do the the spa treatment (which includes the informational portion as well) and it sure did not disappoint!2016-05-14 09.36.01We were all hands on. My daughter “painted” their toes with mineral oil …IMG_0449 IMG_0421I got to do the initial washing down …2016-05-14 10.11.18And my mother-in-law rinsed one off …IMG_0419We also learned a thing or two:

  • African elephants have larger ears that are in the shape of Africa.IMG_0417
  • They can pick up a DIME with their trunk, which can also expand like an accordion! It can even eat an apple out of your hand.IMG_0452
  • There memory is 3x larger than a humans.
  • Average span of life is 50-60 years old.
  • Their wrinkles help break up the sun rays.
  • Their tusks have a nerve running down them.

And we had plenty of photo opportunities!2016-05-14 11.31.27 2016-05-14 11.35.39-1 IMG_0460It was a terrific way to spend two hours watching, learning and touching the elephants. I have a new appreciation for them and a huge appreciation for all their owners do for them year around.

Who would have ever thought you’d get this up close and personal with elephants in French Lick? And it all ties into the circus history … which I’ll tell you more about next time!

For more information on the elephants and all there is to do at Wilstem Ranch (like horse rides, zip lines and more), click here.

For more information on attractions, activities and lodging in French Lick and West Baden, click here.

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Written by : Living in Indianapolis since 2001, Carrie is no stranger to traveling throughout the state. She has worked at Conner Prairie and at the Indiana Office of Tourism. Now working for the Indiana Tourism Association and having a young daughter, Carrie has even more opportunities to take advantage of Indiana's many attractions. Carrie receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development for blogging. For more information, see our FTC Disclosure page.