By Dusan Popov- 1 week volunteer
Volunteering at Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary for my Project Week was one of the best decisions in my life. Being given an opportunity to interact with such a majestic and graceful animal as the Asian elephant, with an ethical and sustainable approach to the interaction, is something I will always keep in great memory and be thankful for experiencing. Moreover, what made the entire experience complete was the chance to immerse oneself in the peculiar and the one of a kind culture of the Karen people.
I was able to learn more about the importance of the relationship that elephants have with the forest and how a sustainable, symbiotic approach to the ever growing issue of their survival as a species can benefit a local community and the elephants themselves. Furthermore, I realized that the data Kindred Spirit collected on the dietary habits of the elephants and the behavioural patterns of these amazing animals is of vital importance to the species and can make a significant contribution to the resolution of the issue itself. The first hand experience I had with the elephants was indeed enlightening and wonderful. To see the elephants up close and feeling their skin is something that can not be adequately described by words. Their quirky personality and intelligence seem to have an enchanting effect on everyone around them, including myself.
Furthermore, I was lucky to visit Kindred Spirit during the celebration of Thai Elephant Day, the celebration of which gave me an insight into the importance of an elephant in Thai society and the great role they had in helping to build Thai identity and culture. They always played a central role in the development of Thailand, and were vital to the country, which is why their survival must be prioritized by the society.
This experience truly opened my eyes, was educational and fun at the same time and fulfilled all my expectations and even more