From Confinement to Freedom
The Opening of Our Very Own Elephant Sanctuary
You may remember my previous blog a few months ago which was written on elephant tourism in Thailand and the many types of interactions available within this complicated topic. What I didn’t mention was the reason behind my research on elephant camps – next month I will be embarking on my very own elephant journey and opening up a brand new project – Kindred Spirit
We’re so excited for Kerri and her team and look forward to working with them and supporting their projects. We wish you the best of luck and hope the ‘Walk for Freedom’ goes well!
Myself and my team are currently planning the return of three beautiful elephants to the forest where they will live out their days roaming in their natural habitat as free as possible and with the ability to choose how they wish to spend their time. Although these elephants will be living in semi-wild conditions, they will always be under the watchful eye of our loving and hard working mahouts (elephant caretakers) to ensure the safety of our visitors and the protection of our community’s crops – elephants love raiding corn fields but the locals don’t enjoy seeing their livelihoods gone in one night!
So how did all this come about? You may wonder how a western girl such as myself has the resources to set-up something as complex as an elephant sanctuary in Thailand but this is defiantly not something I could do alone. My Thai partner, Sombat, is Co-Founder of this sanctuary and has a very valuable background. He is from the Karen Hill Tribe – a minority group in Thailand who are well known as the “elephant keepers”. Elephants have been passed down in Sombat’s family from generation to generation and Sombat has been looking after his family’s elephants since he was a boy. Although Sombat and his family do the best they can to take care of their elephants, due to the complexities within elephant tourism, their elephants were kept in a tourist camp that did not provide for their needs, worked them to exhaustion and gave them very little freedom and social time. After witnessing many horrific events at this particular camp, Sombat and I decided it was time we did something to make their elephants lives better – and so Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary was born!
We will be opening our doors to visitors and volunteers from 14th May but right now we are trying to raise money to help fund the remainder of our set-up costs and fund the return of our elephants to the forest. Our fundraiser “Walk For Freedom” will take place on 1st May. Our team will be walking our elephants home – about 70km in total – to fundraise. We are asking our supporters, not only to donate, but if they want to get more involved they can even set up their own “Walk For Freedom” to help us raise more money.
If you want more information on any aspect of our project, want to donate, fundraise or want to book a stay at our sanctuary, you can find all details on our website: www.kselephantsanctuary.org
You can follow updates on our facebook page: www.facebook.com/kselephantsanctuary
If you want to donate or get involved in our fundraiser, you can read all about it on our fundraising page: https://www.generosity.com/animal-pet-fundraising/ks-elephant-sanctuary-s-walk-for-freeom/x/13674709
Thank you to all our supporters!
ThailandElephants Trustee/Manager & Co-Founder of KSES
If you need any help or advice with your trip please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
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