Posted by WorkingAbroad Projects on Friday, 3rd October 2014
The severe weather has continued to pose challenging work conditions. A huge storm passed, flooding rivers and temporarily cut off the power supply. The computer broke down, and the powerful rain has made the Internet very slow. However, there have not been too many damages and fortunately everyone’s doing fine.
Emily, the Co-Founder and Manager of our Elephant Volunteer Project in Thailand, was unfortunate to catch Dengue fever, which has been an increasing problem in South-East Asia. After spending time recovering, she is now back in the sanctuary slowly continuing her work and passion – Welcome back, Emily!
The elephants have been thriving and happy in their lush green forest and muddy surroundings during the last month of the rainy season. Winter and dry season is getting closer, which makes the elephants spend more time by the water. The enclosure for Kham Mee and Boon has been repaired, as Boon dismantled the gate while scratching. Both are enjoying the rest gratefully and Boon is becoming more playful by every day. His eye condition remains serious and it is still uncertain if he will become permanently blind on his left eye. We hope for the best! A new mahout (elephant care staff) just recently joined the project to take care of Little Boon, as he is getting bigger and thus also more dangerous to his surroundings.
Mae Kam has been enjoying her time deep in the jungle and even been stealing some bamboo shots from a local family’s property. Luckily they do not mind. Our village dog Buuy is doing very well after being treated for mange and a secondary skin infection.
As we now have a new mahout among us, it has been necessary to expand the housing. The staff and local community have come together on the project, which has entailed taking down the old hut and rebuilding it with recycled material closer to the elephants grass fields. There is always a great sense of community among everyone here.
All of our elephants once again remind us the need to continue working with the local communities in helping elephants have more quality of life. When we provide an alternative income for the owners of the elephants, we not only provide them with a means to feed their families, but also freedom and relaxation for the elephants. Remember, elephants do not belong in chains for the entertainment of tourists! These beautiful and intelligent animals should only be viewed upon acting freely in their natural setting. The key: EDUCATION! Tourists coming to Thailand will play an important role in raising awareness to change the current conditions for the elephants.
The illegal poaching of ivory is another grave and pressing issue related to the survival of elephants. Thousands of elephants are slaughtered each year due the high demand in ivory in particular Asia. Staff and volunteers from our project have decided to march against the extinction of elephants and force China to shut down its ivory carving factories.
Find your city and JOIN US on the 4th October!
By Charlotte Laursen, WorkingAbroad team
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