We just hired a trainer for our rambunctious shelter rescue dogs, and in addition to being particularly intuitive with the boys, she is also working hard to found an elephant rescue charitable organization. She is headed to Thailand to work with some of the existing elephant programs (which means we can’t schedule training for a bit, but it’s worth it for the cause, and the dogs are supportive…as long as she brings liver snacks when she comes back).
Two of the programs she has thoroughly researched and will be dedicating some chunks of time to while she is there, are Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary near Sukhothai, in North Thailand, and the Elephant Nature Foundation in Chiang Mai. Elephant Nature Foundation has volunteer opportunities, at incredibly reasonable rates–about US$390 for 7 days/6 nights of room, meals, transfers to and from hotel, and expert guide/translator. You can adopt and Elephant, or offer support in other ways with either group.
They are such truly magnificent animals, regal and intuitive and emotional, and powerfully bonded to one another. I’ll never forget the story we heard when we were in Thailand at a National Park with a large waterfall (where pivotal scenes of the Leonardo DiCaprio film, “The Beach” were shot)…there are wild elephants throughout this protected jungle area, and one day, a baby from a herd fell over the waterfall to it’s death…several of the adult elephants jumped over as well to try and rescue it–tragic since all of them died, but testament to the connection and deep loyalty and protective nature of the species. I find them endlessly fascinating and astonishing. I hope you do as well, and will throw a little help their way.
Now, Hannah, hurry home…Cooper and Finn are barking their heads off!