I had some free time on my last afternoon in Thailand, so I signed up for a half-day tour package that gave me some lifelong memories. 

First our tour group went to Mae Sa Elephant Camp, a little ways outside of Chiang Mai.  

There we got to watch elephants doing interesting activities.  Click on the links below to watch some short videos I took of the elephants:
elephant throwing darts
elephant playing basketball

Above you can see the pictures that were painted that day – yes, I can vouch for the fact that this artwork really was created entirely by elephants!

Also at Mae Sa, I enjoyed my first-ever elephant ride (no, I never did that in Kenya!). 

As much as I enjoyed my experience with the elephants, the next stop on the tour was even better.  Click on the link to read my blog post about Tiger Kingdom!  Or, skip ahead to the third stop on the tour and read about the beautiful Orchid Nursery.  Did you miss my first blog post with glimpses of Chiang Mai?  Take a look at A Trip to Thailand.
I’m here in Malaysian Borneo for a few days attending a teaching conference, and I’m loving it!  (To see my first Bornean blog post, click here.)

As one of our last activities before we had to leave, Floyd and I visited a fun zoo called Lok Kawi Wildlife Park.  We really enjoyed it, and I’d recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to visit Sabah (this state in Malaysia).
One of our favorite parts was definitely the elephants.  With only a fence and a little ditch separating us, we got to toss them sweet potatoes for lunch.  The way they begged would put any dog to shame!
One of the elephants (and only one) apparently loved the water.  She was the only one who would wade in and swim for the sweet potatoes that people tossed into the little pond in the enclosure.  It was fun watching her fish them up from the bottom with her trunk.

This elephant wasn’t content to wait on the other side of the fence!
At one point, some keepers brought around a cute little baby elephant that we got to pet.  They gave us crackers to feed him right out of our hands, but he liked the sweet potatoes better.
This is Mowgli, a chimpanzee who we watched perform in a little show.  At one point they asked for audience volunteers to compete against her, and Floyd was chosen.  He had to try to break open a coconut with his bare hands before she could – needless to say, Mowgli left him in the dust!
Later, Mowgli and friends rode away in this golf cart.

Floyd got to keep the coconut he had been unable to open in the contest.  He asked one of the keepers if he could give it to Mowgli afterward (she had drunk the milk from her own coconut with relish), but the keeper suggested that instead he toss it into the Malaysian sun bears’ enclosure.
The bears loved it!  It took them a lot longer to break it open than Mowgli, but they sure had fun banging it against walls and the ground and wrestling over it.  
Afterward they enjoyed slurping up the coconut milk and also chewing on the flesh inside.

The tiger was fun to watch, too.  At a certain time the keepers put a slab of meat on this little conveyance on the cable, and the tiger bounded up the tree trunk to snatch it off.  Apparently that’s his primary exercise for the day.

I couldn’t stop laughing at the proboscis monkeys.  Just look at their faces!
Can you believe those noses?!
Another funny-looking fellow.
One section of the zoo was set aside as a nature walk through the tropical jungle.  

We enjoyed the hiking trails, even though they were paved.  The steep sections had stairs and handrails.
There was no “loose” wildlife here except for insects and birds, but we enjoyed a variety of tropical plants, such as the unusually colored bamboo below.
There were a few scenic little natural streams in the area.
Our day at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park was the perfect end to a wonderful (though far too short) visit to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.  I hope I can go back again someday!

Want to see more of our adventures in Borneo?  Click on the links below to read my other blog posts from the trip:

The Wilds of Borneo (Well, not Quite)
Borneo: The Green Connection and Dinner on the Beach

Borneo: Tun Mustapha Tower and Sabah Museum and Cultural Village