Sunday, January 1, 2012

Incoming Hope

"HOPE IS COMING!" screeched a tiny Thai woman.  More than 50 volunteers, day visitors and staff legged it to the safety of an elevated platform despite the optimistic bellow.  Hope, a cheeky teenage male rescued shortly after birth, is an elephant.  

One of the 36 elephants currently at the Elephant Nature Park rescued by patchyderm superhero Sangduen (Lek) Chailert, Hope has never been tortured, abused or forced to work in the logging or tourist industries.  

Other rescuees aren't so fortunate.  As 2700 kilo females plod past on dislocated hips, broken ankles and abscessed feet, it's truly heart breaking to visualize the events that led to their conditions.  "Broken" in a "crush," pummeled by sharp hooks, nails and slingshotted stones so they'd submit to human direction and later injected with methamphetamines so they'd work longer the Park is a rare sanctuary for retired and rescued elephants. 

A vacation volunteer program has participants helping for a minimum of one week either at the Park or in a remote location in SE Asia.  While our labour was not as valuable as the funds and time we gave, the real value for the Park is the onward education and enthusiasm for elephant conservation the volunteers come away with. 

 Mae Perm and Jokia

River bath time

Ele suncreme

Hope was trained to do this through positive reinforecemet 

Vet student G cleaning wounds 

The B Team with our Volunteer Coordinators.  The one with his arm around me threw four of us into the mudpit.

Post bathing

Feeding time

No comments:

Post a Comment