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In Praise of Bali's Elephants

The Elephant Safari Park at Taro Celebrates its 8th Birthday with Friends, Music by the Australian Boys Choir and 27 Very Contented Pachyderms.


It started with a bold and imaginative dream eight years ago to create a safe sanctuary for the critically endangered Sumatran elephant. Nigel and Yanie Mason, the husband-wife team that owns and manages Bali Adventure Tours, took a dry rice field in the remote central Balinese village of Taro and transformed it into what has become without doubt a world-class home to a herd of much loved and cared for elephants elephants.

Over the past 8 years and after the investment of millions of dollars The Elephant Safari Park at Taro has become one of Bali's "must see" attractions. In addition to meticulously maintained safari trails where visitors are taken on elephant rides through lush gardens in the company of well-trained mahouts, the park also features a comprehensive museum including prehistoric mammoth artifacts, a 200-seat restaurant, regular elephant shows, orchid gardens, and an extensive gift shop selling an almost limitless supply of elephant memorabilia including works of art painted by the talented animals. In keeping with the Park's growing commitment to help sustain the endangered Sumatran elephant, the Park has celebrated its latest birthday by launching a breeding center that will eventually see Bali's first captive-bred elephants born in Taro.

A Birthday Party to Remember

Closed to the public for the entire day of Sunday, August 21, 2005, hundreds of government and travel industry guests were treated to lunch, an exciting show, and elephant rides to celebrate the Park's anniversary.

A brief speech by Nigel Mason followed by comments from the special guest of honor for the day, Indonesia's former Minister of Culture and Tourism, I Gede Ardika, prepared the way for a special musical birthday tribute. The world renowned Australian Boy's Choir, currently visiting Indonesia as part of an overseas tour, provided a brief but very stirring vocal concert singing the much-loved Indonesia melody "Begawan Solo"; followed by a song dedicated to Nigel Mason, "My Way"; and closing with a rousing rendition "Waltzing Matilda."

The Choir, one of Australia's oldest and finest secular boy's choirs, regularly tours the globe and has performed on numerous recordings and major film soundtracks. After traveling to Central Java for a command performance before the Sultan of Yogyakarta, the group will return for a special performance on Tuesday, August 30, 2005, at the Puri Santrian Hotel on Sanur Beach.

Photos from The Elephant Safari Park 8th Birthday (Click to Enlarge)

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