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Getting muddy with the Elephants and being a part of the change for good.

Getting muddy with the Elephants and being a part of the change for good.

Author -  Emma Nevard

After a stressful trip from New Zealand to Bangkok, involving delays, running to make connections and missing bags, we finally made it. This was my first time not travelling solo as I was with my best friend Becky, who I meet three years earlier on the Save the Lions project in South Africa.

Exiting the airport, the heat and humidity was like a slap in the face. Instant sweat on every inch of the body. Delicious!



The project with Elephant Sanctuary is a decent trek out of Bangkok. We spent our first night not far from the airport. We were picked up early the following morning, (still without our bags) and transferred to Singburi. While here, we were given information about the exciting project that we were going to take part in and finally got our missing bags back (thank you travel insurance!).

We were picked up early on Monday morning, along with two other volunteers, in an old truck. We climbing on the back and prepare for a windy three hour drive. Bags, Check. Excitement, Check. Sweating at 6am, you bet!

Elephant Sanctuary 1.jpeg

Showing off our hard work. In the heat of the day it would be around 35 degrees. The labour intensive work was definitely slow going.



Elephant Sanctuary is involved in the saddle off movement. Big change! “No riding, No shows, Just love”. Is the motto they go by.


The Sanctuary worked in cooperation with the Elephant National Park to help turn elephant trekking camps into eco tourism. Now their herd enjoys roaming together in nature, swimming in the river and mud baths.

Arriving at the Elephant Sanctuary, we were greeted by many smiling faces and 7 large female elephants. All waiting for breakfast. We were given a short safety briefing about the do’s and don’ts around the elephants by a man named Patrick. He would be looking after us for the week.

Elephant Sanctuary 2.jpeg

Watermelons everywhere. I've seen and eaten enough watermelon to last a lifetime. We cut the skin off the melons so it's easier for the oldest of the elephants, Thong Koon at 63, to eat. As her teeth are a bit worn down.

 

Accommodation was small and basic, but all you needed in the jungle. A simple cabin with two mattresses, a mosquito net, and a bathroom with a shower and toilet.


Waking up early on Tuesday morning to a big noise from Chopper, the youngest of the elephants at 26, having a blast in the river. What more could you want.

Everyday was much the same, consisting of organising the elephants’ breakfast, which was cutting up the most watermelon I’ve ever seen and making rice balls. They actually looked pretty good, mashed banana, rice, bran and salt.

Walking through the jungle with them and observing them in a natural environment.
Taking them to the mud pool, this was fun, you and the elephants would end up covered in mud.

Elephant Sanctuary 3.jpeg

Handmade sign introducing the elephants. As creatures of habit, they actually always stand in this order.


In the late afternoon you’d go down to the river with the herd and join them for swimming, this part I was most looking forward to. It was amazing to see them swim around with such grace for such large animals.

Elephant Sanctuary 4.jpeg

Swimming with the elephants in the middle of a downpour. It was still over 30 degrees though. This was always an amazing time of day as the elephants would sit in the water with their eyes closed and allow us to wash them.

Through the week we got to help with other tasks; we were taught how to use a machete and taken out to the fields to cut some sugarcane. We also had to plant some banana trees and look after them through the week. They go through a lot of banana trees because as soon as the elephants know where they’ve been planted, they’ll make their way to them and eat the entire plant!

I never thought in my life I would get so close to these amazing animals, being able to spend a week with them has been a wonderful experience. Being a part of the change for good

 #elephantsarentforriding

To find out more about Emma’s projects check out

https://www.iwh.co.nz/volunteer-in-asia-pacific-regions/thailand-volunteer-projects/elephant-sanctuary

You can do it too!

 

 

Fill out my online form.

Getting muddy with the Elephants and being a part of the change for good.

I never thought in my life I would get so close to these amazing animals, being able to spend a week with them has been a wonderful experience. Being a part of the change for good, #elephantsarentforriding

After a stressful trip from New Zealand to Bangkok, involving delays, running to make connections and missing bags, we finally made it. This was my first time not travelling solo as I was with my best friend Becky, who I meet three years earlier on the Save the Lions project in South Africa.

Exiting the airport, the heat and humidity was like a slap in the face. Instant sweat on every inch of the body. Delicious!



The project with Elephant Sanctuary is a decent trek out of Bangkok. We spent our first night not far from the airport. We were picked up early the following morning, (still without our bags) and transferred to Singburi. While here, we were given information about the exciting project that we were going to take part in and finally got our missing bags back (thank you travel insurance!).

We were picked up early on Monday morning, along with two other volunteers, in an old truck. We climbing on the back and prepare for a windy three hour drive. Bags, Check. Excitement, Check. Sweating at 6am, you bet!

Elephant Sanctuary 1.jpeg

Showing off our hard work. In the heat of the day it would be around 35 degrees. The labour intensive work was definitely slow going.



Elephant Sanctuary is involved in the saddle off movement. Big change! “No riding, No shows, Just love”. Is the motto they go by.


The Sanctuary worked in cooperation with the Elephant National Park to help turn elephant trekking camps into eco tourism. Now their herd enjoys roaming together in nature, swimming in the river and mud baths.

Arriving at the Elephant Sanctuary, we were greeted by many smiling faces and 7 large female elephants. All waiting for breakfast. We were given a short safety briefing about the do’s and don’ts around the elephants by a man named Patrick. He would be looking after us for the week.

Elephant Sanctuary 2.jpeg

Watermelons everywhere. I've seen and eaten enough watermelon to last a lifetime. We cut the skin off the melons so it's easier for the oldest of the elephants, Thong Koon at 63, to eat. As her teeth are a bit worn down.

 

Accommodation was small and basic, but all you needed in the jungle. A simple cabin with two mattresses, a mosquito net, and a bathroom with a shower and toilet.


Waking up early on Tuesday morning to a big noise from Chopper, the youngest of the elephants at 26, having a blast in the river. What more could you want.

Everyday was much the same, consisting of organising the elephants’ breakfast, which was cutting up the most watermelon I’ve ever seen and making rice balls. They actually looked pretty good, mashed banana, rice, bran and salt.

Walking through the jungle with them and observing them in a natural environment.
Taking them to the mud pool, this was fun, you and the elephants would end up covered in mud.

Elephant Sanctuary 3.jpeg

Handmade sign introducing the elephants. As creatures of habit, they actually always stand in this order.


In the late afternoon you’d go down to the river with the herd and join them for swimming, this part I was most looking forward to. It was amazing to see them swim around with such grace for such large animals.

Elephant Sanctuary 4.jpeg

Swimming with the elephants in the middle of a downpour. It was still over 30 degrees though. This was always an amazing time of day as the elephants would sit in the water with their eyes closed and allow us to wash them.

Through the week we got to help with other tasks; we were taught how to use a machete and taken out to the fields to cut some sugarcane. We also had to plant some banana trees and look after them through the week. They go through a lot of banana trees because as soon as the elephants know where they’ve been planted, they’ll make their way to them and eat the entire plant!

I never thought in my life I would get so close to these amazing animals, being able to spend a week with them has been a wonderful experience. Being a part of the change for good

 #elephantsarentforriding

To find out more about Emma’s projects check out

https://www.iwh.co.nz/volunteer-in-asia-pacific-regions/thailand-volunteer-projects/elephant-sanctuary

You can do it too!

 

 

Fill out my online form.
Getting muddy with the Elephants and being a part of the change for good.

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