Elephants are my favourite animals! They are the most incredibly smart, loyal, and beautiful animals that deserve more credit in the animal kingdom than they receive. In my opinion. Volunteering with elephants is a way to befriend and safeguard these majestic creatures in their natural habitat by becoming their caretakers in a very hands-on way.
Elephants are a unique animal that need as much care and devotion as any human being, and they need you to be someone who is willing to put in the work to reap the reward of seeing them thriving in a happy and healthy environment. They need people who are interested in elephant handling and community outreach, not afraid of getting a little dirty with the chance to bathe off in the rivers alongside the animals.
No two days will ever be the same for you in this role! Some days you might be walking and bathing the elephants, other times you could be planting and harvesting crops for the elephants. You’ll have the chance to make ‘poo’ paper – much more pleasant than it sounds and a great source of income for the village. You’ll also be feeding the elephants while learning to cook some traditional Thai food.
The elephants are located in Surin, Thailand, a beautiful country with natural gorgeousness, impressive architecture, eye-catching temples, lovely, friendly people, and the just the best Thai food you will ever eat!
Historically, elephants worked in the removal of trees from forests to provide an income for their owners. However, as logging has now been banned in Thailand, domesticated elephants are now unemployed and expensive to maintain. You will experience what it means to care for domesticated elephants by generating income for the families who own them, treating the elephants with respect while experiencing the lifestyle of the Thai families involved.
Do you want to interact with a gentle giant? Do you want to see another world, another culture, and touch the animal you’ll be helping? This is perfect hands-on work that develops your nurturing side, your patience, and your understanding of the affects humans can have over the animals they are in care of. Maybe you are thinking of a career in Veterinary Medicine, or animal activism? When you are deciding on a future for yourself, don’t you want to be able to say you’ve put in the real labor outside of the classroom and loved it so much, you decided the school dedication was worth the trouble?
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