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Care for rescued Elephants in Thailand with Pod Volunteer

Date added: Wednesday 12th July 2017

Many gap year students each year are choosing to spend their holidays in a different way and travel with a purpose by volunteering.

The Elephant Care and Wildlife Rescue project with Pod Volunteer provides a unique opportunity for gap year students to live on temple grounds and work to help rescued elephants as well as variety of other animals such as monkeys, otters and bears. The centre rescues animals that have been maltreated and/or neglected, and either seeks to re-release the animals or ensure that they spend the rest of their lives in a sanctuary as close to the natural environment as possible. It gives refuge to domesticated elephants that have been used in the logging and tourism industries; many of the elephants arrive with severe health problems and bear the scars of previous abuse.

We spoke to some of our volunteers to find out in their own words what volunteering at this amazing project is like:

Zoe, 18 years old: “An amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone and everyone, thank you Pod Volunteer! The lifestyle, the environment, the people, the animals, nothing could compare to the experience I've had at this project”

Jack, 18 years old: “I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone doing DofE, anyone going travelling or just someone who wants a different experience”

Sophia, 19 years old: “My experience volunteering in Thailand was one I won't forget. I got to work with wildlife and elephants, every day was very hard work but I have never worked in a situation where I had felt so rewarded”

Jake, 19 years old: “Making improvements to the place that provided for me, and looking after animals that were such helpless beings, I found deeply satisfying. Close friendships with the people around me were also developed. This has undoubtedly been a life-changing event that will continue to shape me throughout the future :)”

Tzia, 22 years old: “My volunteer experience was more than I thought it would be. You get to work with a great staff team that are very helpful and meet some great people. The animals were great too you get to watch them and get to know their personality, and see how the place changes over time”

Natasha, 24 years old: “If you're on the fence about it, then I say go for it! If not now, then when? This placement was one of the best things I have ever done and you meet so many wonderful people and meet such amazing creatures that it is worth every penny”

Bonita, 20 years old: “Thank you to Pod Volunteer for making the most amazing experience happen”

Jobie, 23 years old: “The project has an amazing community experience where you have a chance to meet people from all over the world. You learn so much about the Elephants and have an opportunity to bond with them on a level you wouldn't get anywhere else”

Both the Elephant Care and Wildlife Rescue roles are based at the same sanctuary and volunteers can choose to either specialise in one role or combine the two roles and have the chance to experience all aspects of life at the centre! Every day at the centre will vary but the volunteering role generally includes harvesting and preparing food for the elephants and other animals, cleaning the enclosures and distributing water. Volunteers also contribute creatively by helping to design enrichments for the elephants and other animals.

If you would like to get involved and join the team, you can find out more here:
Elephant Care: https://www.podvolunteer.org/projects/elephant-care-thailand
Wildlife Rescue: https://www.podvolunteer.org/projects/wildlife-rescue-thailand