Thai Elephant Conservation (STA exclusive 2013) - TATECT
Day 1 Chiang Mai (L, D)
Orientation at Elephant Project Office in Chiang Mai early Monday morning and then transfer by private vehicle to the Elephant Park located 60km from Chiang Mai. Please arrive at the Project Office at 8am today. Your accommodation on site is in comfortable, traditional huts. The Park is in a rural area which will give you a different perspective to most other tourists or volunteers coming into Thailand. While staying at the park your neighbours will fish in the nearby waterways, work their land and deliver produce to the markets
Day 2 - 6 Volunteer Elephant Conservation project (5B, 5L, 5D)
You days at the Elephant Nature Park are packed with activities from 7am to 5pm. Your primary task will be to assistant the park managers, ground staff and vets in all aspects of caring for the elephants. Your meals at the site are included, but you will be asked to help prepare and clean up afterwards. In the evening you are free to do your own thing. Some of the daily tasks at the centre may include: Veterinary Inspections: You will likely be asked to join the vets as they check on the health and physical condition of the elephants. Despite being a large animal, elephants often have issues relating to their feet, ears and tusks. Often elephants that have been subjected to hard labour and logging and will have long term effects as a result. The vets at the park will teach you about ways in which you might be able to recognise the health issues this magnificent animal is prone to. On their rounds they will likely ask you to assist in administering basic medical treatments as well. Daily Food Preparation: Have you ever seen how much an elephant can eat? In order for an Asian elephant to have a long life span they need to have a good diet including a lot of leaves and fruits that are found naturally in the highlands. One of your main roles will be to prepare the food for the elephants on a daily basis. Once the food is prepared, you will also need to feed the elephants. This is one of the ways in which the Karon people of Northern Thailand established strong bonds with elephants – so over the space of the week you will see these magnificent creatures start to recognise you. In turn you will also start to learn each animals differing mannerisms and you will see that each elephants has a unique personality. Bathing: Definitely a highlight of the Elephant Park is spending time in the water with the elephants. Elephants are quite good at bathing themselves, but in muddy and tropical climates their thick skin and hair often needs to be washed off more rigorously. This is a great time to be up close with the elephants. Grounds Maintenance: A massive burden that the Elephant Park takes on in caring for the elephants, is also ensuring that the grounds are safe. In addition, because of the high cost associated with feeding these animals, the Nature Park grows a great deal of their own produce and have additional livestock. Working in the organic garden would likely be a regular addition to your day.
Day 7 Depart Chiang Mai (B, L)
You will depart Project at approx. 5pm today with transfer back to Chiang Mai office for departure. If you are departing Chiang Mai today please do not book onward travel until 8pm or later.