By Lyndsey Warner – 1 week volunteer
Being at Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary gives you the opportunity to educate yourself and understand the true way an elephant should be treated. Being able to see elephants in their natural habitat is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.
These elephants all came from the tourist industry where they were working animals. Now, they are able to roam thousands of acres freely. The happiness in their faces as they graze, mud bathe, and hit each other with their trunks is unmatched. You have to hike out to the elephants every day in order to observe and gather data on them. It goes to show how much KSES cares about giving these elephants the most natural habitat possible is that they sacrifice their legs, bodies, and energy to go seek out the elephants every single day. We hiked probably about an hour to find the elephants today then spent the next 90 minutes following them through thick brush on steep hillsides as they gracefully, and quite swiftly, trekked through the forest. We on the other hand, were not graceful nor swift.
You don’t truly understand how great it is to see elephants be elephants until you get to observe them roam the forest on their own. Being at KSES gives you the chance to understand and make a difference by helping them gather data in order to create a guide to properly care for Asian elephants. The research on this project is impeccable. Hiking, observing, and breaking downs hours of data in order to find out exactly what kind of plants/bushes they enjoy eating, the other elephants they enjoy associating with, and how much they bathe or rest just to create a guideline for captive elephants. That is true dedication and shows how much they truly care about these magnificent creatures!