2014 Year in Review - Featured

Year in Review: 2014

What a year! 2014 was a year of amazing travel including to three new countries and major changes such as relocating across the world as we begin the next chapter of our lives. Let’s look back at this eventful year: Singapore In January, I was lucky enough to travel with Lek Chailert, the founder of […]

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Elephant Poo Paper - Featured

Turning Poo Into Paper

While in the village of Ta Klang in Thailand’s Surin Province, I came across a paper-making factory that taught me how to turn elephant poo into paper. Unfortunately, the poo is collected from captive elephants, usually chained to either a tree or post of some sort, standing with their poo racked and stacked to the side. […]

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Goodbye to Elephants - Featured

Saying Goodbye to the Elephants

The van takes the familiar curves and we know exactly when to turn our heads to the left for the next beautiful view. “This is our last time”, we look at each other with tears in our eyes, “Let’s make the most of it” and brace ourselves for a series of hard goodbyes. Ever since […]

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Elephant Lesbians - Tilly and Mae Kham Puan

Tilly and Mae Kham Puan – A Lesbian Elephant Couple

Elephants are matriarchal by nature, forming strong, tight-knit all-female herds, kicking out males when they become of age. In the wild, female elephants only consort with males for reproductive purposes, always returning to the herd. In the wild, Southeast Asian jungles, herds are typically comprised of only family members. However, in sanctuaries, such as Elephant Nature Park, […]

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Mae Tee - Buddhist Funeral

A Buddhist Funeral for Mae Tee

Sticks of incense stand upright in the freshly up-turned dirt, filling the air with their fragrant smoke. Like runway lights, they lead the way from where I stand to Mae Tee, finally at rest. Before she came to Elephant Nature Park, Mae Tee was forced to work in the logging industry, hauling massive logs through […]

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Elephant Kraal in Ayuthaya, Thailand

Elephant Kraal in Ayuthaya

On my last morning I took a final look at the map of Ayuthaya that the guesthouse gave me when I noticed a small cartoon-drawn elephant with the label “Elephant Kraal” in the top right corner of the page. With a piqued interest, I looked into this further and discovered that this was the last […]

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An Elephant Walk in Northern Cambodia

We spent a week within the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary, midway between the Thai border to the north and Siem Reap to the south. We helped out by planting trees in one of the most deforested countries in the world, weeding, creating gardens, and cleaning out the duck pond (not as much fun as the other tasks). […]

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Meeting Lucky for the first time in Surin, Thailand

Lucky’s Story: Rescuing an Elephant in Thailand

It was late January when rumors started swirling that Save Elephant Foundation was getting ready to rescue another elephant. A few months earlier, during my trip to Surin province to witness Dao Tong’s rescue, my fear of throwing up on the truck due to my crippling motion sickness kept me from fully experiencing this momentous […]

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Matt and Chantelle Meet Sai Rung

Dao Tong: An Elephant Rescue Story

As you may know, since we volunteered at Elephant Nature Park in May 2012, the foundation that runs it (Save Elephant Foundation), its people and especially the animals it cares for have become very dear to our hearts. In late 2010, two Australians similarly volunteered and their lives immediately changed as well. During their week […]

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Two chained elephants forced to perform at Surin Elephant Roundup

Surin Elephant Roundup: Behind the Scenes

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the Surin Elephant Roundup, a government-sanctioned festival celebrating Thailand’s revered Asian elephant. The multi-day event draws large crowds all eager to witness elephants showcasing their amazing abilities. Elephants dancing to Gangnam Style, throwing darts to pop balloons, playing an organized game of soccer and even walking upright to […]

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Baby Elephant Funeral at Elephant Nature Park

Raja Gaja’s Funeral

We arrived at Elephant Nature Park on Sunday morning and were shocked to hear the news the little baby elephant, Raja Gaja, had passed away the night before. Despite round-the-clock care, attention and love, he didn’t make it. The last several days included some major discomfort so this was seen as the end of his suffering. […]

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Baby Elephant Sleeping at Elephant Nature Park

Baby Elephant at the Elephant Nature Park

We went to Elephant Nature Park again for the day as we do every second Saturday. This time was an extra special visit though as we learned on the ride up about a baby elephant that had just arrived the day before. He was only 2 days old. Immediately upon arriving at the park we rushed to the enclosure that […]

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Bathing Elephant in the Mae Taeng River at the Elephant Nature Park

Ligeia’s Visit to Elephant Nature Park

Since Ligeia was only 2 kilometers away from the Elephant Nature Park where she and Mindy did the week of volunteer service, Ligeia decided to spend Friday afternoon and evening visiting the elephants. Oh how great it was to be back! Her visit began with lunch which was yummy and full of vegetarian choices! And […]

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Spending Time With Our Elephant Friends

We have befriended several of our fellow volunteers at the Elephant Nature Park and have been fortunate enough to spend more time with them while they are still in Chiang Mai. The group started out with quite a large number but day by day, friends leave Chiang Mai and continue on their way and to […]

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