Animal rights activist shares Thailand experience with local group

The Bournemouth and Poole animal aid group was in for a special treat in this month’s meeting when animal rights activist Gill Webb shared her experience of the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand.

Gill Webb was not only the conductor but also the special speaker for the night as she shared about her time spent in Thailand in the company of rescued elephants.

A film depicting her voluntary work along with other like-minded people at the nature park was showcased, with Gill Webb commenting and explaining various aspects of the park.

“It was a unique and a fulfilling experience. The time we got to spend with the elephants and taking care of them was amazing,” said Webb to the group.

The Elephant Nature Park is run by Sangduen “Lek” Chailerta,  a local woman who always had a strong affinity for elephants, and was established in 1996. Set up in Chiang Mai province of Northern Thailand, the park allows the visitors a unique combination of visiting the elephants along with volunteering at the park at the same time.

“There are various tasks that you get to learn. Bathing the elephants, feeding them, cleaning the grounds and general running of the park,” said Webb.

“The park allows the elephants to live in their natural habitat and contains as many as 35 elephants at one time, rescued from various places,” she said.

The entire group sat in rapt attention watching the film and listening to Webb add her anecdotes about various tasks that the volunteers had to perform and other incidents that happened during her trip.

“I liked the film and listening to her. I think it’s amazing what this group and others are doing all over the world for animal welfare,” said Paul Watkins, a regular animal rights supporter at the group.

Webb encouraged all the group members to think about taking part in this on-going project in Thailand. “The concept is so simple. You pay to volunteer at the park and it not only allows you to experience the elephants first hand, but also get the joy of helping out,” said Webb.

“I think the best thing was, that all sorts of people, from 16-year-old backpackers to older people, all came together to help at the park and care for these majestic animals,” said Webb.

A week’s stay costs just £250 including food and accommodation and the activities that act as volunteer work range from bathing to feeding the elephants in the park.

Main Image: cedartree_13’s via Flickr

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