Our guest photo blogger today is Tom who once worked in Northern Thailand for a month, volunteering with the NGO Global Vision International (GVI) to help with elephant conservation in the area. The pictures you can see in this post were all taken during one of his favorite things to do: hiking with the elephants through the tropical forests of the region.
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Here’s what he says about that memorable experience two summers ago.
During my stay, there were four elephants being monitored. Some of them had earned their owner’s money by performing either in tourist camps or on the streets. Thong Dee – the oldest of the group – spent a number of years working in a logging camp. They were all being rehabilitated, same for Song Kran (who turned 4 whilst I was there) who was born since the programme started.
On weekdays myself and the other volunteers would hike with the ele’s every day, following them wherever they went, came back for lunch, and then journeyed out again in the afternoon. We would record the ele’s behaviour towards each other and what they ate during hikes, that data was then passed on to the university in Chiang Mai.
Despite my short time in the village, with the ele’s and other volunteers, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I cannot recommend the experience enough, and if you ever get the opportunity to do something similar, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.