sunlight filtering through tree calming image

Working at the Elephant Nature Park. Chiang Mai, Thailand 2019

From working with anxiety and trauma in humans, to working with elephants. A dream come true to be this close to them and care for them.

Sadly, each and every elephant that is caught from the wild and used by humans, either in illegal logging, the tourist trade, circus acts, forced breeding or for their ivory or skin, has been through horrific, violent torture, for 7 to 10 days, till their spirit has been broken and they become compliant.

An incredible thai lady, Lek , went against her family and began to rescue sick and old elephants and established the Elephant Nature Park in 2003

She has worked tirelessly to educate local people in ways that they can be hands off with the elephants and still earn a good living. She is currently touring the world, spreading the word about the unspeakable abuse these magnificent sentient beings endure and being filmed along the way. Her first documentary, Love and Bananas is a must watch. The Asian wild elephant is an endangered species so they need our help.

As soon as I heard about the project, I signed up for a week of voluntary work. To be fair, we didn’t work many hours, so there was plenty of time to just be alongside around 80 elephants and observe them. Each with their own story and still experiencing emotional trauma and physical injuries from being chained up, hit with a bull hook, forced into breeding or having stepped on a land mine.

Work consisted of cleaning up their poo each morning and preparing food. I was able to practice yoga and mediation each morning at dawn and watch the elephants begin their day. We would do well to emulate their intilligent and empathic approach to life. What a privillage to be alongside them.