Always remember that you must treat animals with respect, love and affection and that when they interact with someone, it’s to help and give a dose of love, and not the other way around. Also get ready to receive all the love that only they know how to give and in the way you least expect, in the case of elephants it’s often with a good hose of water directly from their trunks.
It is important to know that elephants are some of the most impressive and admirable animals on earth, but also ones that have suffered much mistreatment to be domesticated. In the elephant sanctuary they will explain in detail as to what’s being done to give a solution to this problem, so that the parties involved (elephants and people) can coexist in a peaceful way.
One of the biggest challenges at the elephant center is having enough food for them and keeping them happy and healthy. Mothers easily weigh three or four metric tons, and usually eat more than 300 pounds of vegetation per day. And when they are breastfeeding, their daily dietary needs increase substantially.
Just helping with the harvest of grass, corn, bananas and other goodies makes a big difference in the lives of these elephants. By donating your time and resources to a project like this, you are contributing more than you imagine to the wellbeing of the elephants.
On the elephant care project in Thailand, you will also have the opportunity to work with local villagers, most of whom are staff members and their families. Most of these people come from minority ethnic groups in northern Thailand and are eager to learn and practice English with visiting volunteers.
YOUR ROLE AS A VOLUNTEER
The 100-kilogram elephants spend their day exploring the world and accumulating some important trunks-on experience under mom’s watch.
A volunteer’s day starts very early (around 6:30 a.m.).
- The first thing is to go to the river to bathe mothers and babies before feeding them.
- After that, volunteers and staff take a moment to have breakfast, before starting with daily tasks. In general, these vary from harvesting grass to making medicinal herb balls for elephants.
As a volunteer, you will join the full-time staff and help with the tasks and activities that are carried out in the facilities. In addition, you will be interacting with the daily visitors in the camp and informing them about some of the important details of the conservation work that takes place in the center.
For the activities that you will carry out as a volunteer in the elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, it will be necessary to wear clothes that you like the least (old), in addition to shoes that you do not have much appreciation of and that you can wear in the mud.
We recommend that you put a long thin pair of pants in the suitcase and a short wind or raincoat, since the evenings tend to get cool. There are usually mosquitoes around the place where the project is located and this type of clothing helps protect you.
SCHEDULE AND PLACE OF WORK
Volunteers stay at the elephant center from Monday to Friday and on the weekends return to accommodation located in Chiang Mai.
COSTS OF THE PROGRAM
The total cost of the volunteer program with elephants in Thailand starts at €620 for 1 weeks. Each additional week costs €160. (The price in dollars is indicative).
The prices of the volunteer program with elephants are in euros, so the currency exchange will be affected. You can check the currency exchange rate in the period of your trip.
WHAT ARE YOU PAYING FOR?
- Airport pick-up
- Accommodation during your volunteering
- Breakfast every morning
- Lunch on the project every workday (dinner isn’t included)
- 2-day orientation (includes a half-day tour of the city, cultural dinner and show)
- Local coordinator
- 24/7 assistance