‘Trunk Tales: A Journey into the Hilly Forest’December 1, 2023
Dah bah no me bahDecember 25, 2023
By Lars Bannink – 1 week intern: Last Sunday I arrived at KSES to start my research internship for a week. I never have taken apart in project focusing on animal behavior – or any type of animal research really – but as a kid I can remember wanting to become ranger. Looking back I think many of us have share the same sentiment. But it was basically all I ever dreamed of as a child. Life passed on, my focus changed to medicine in which I finally finished my studies in Technical Medicine. But still I had that longing to once spent some time with amazing beings such as elephants.
At the beginning of this year it became clear that I were going on a Pilgrimage around the Birma-Siam railway (a death-railway that was built by prisoners – of war – during WW2) linking Kanchanaburi to deep in Myanmar. As I am aware of the impact of flying, I didn’t want to just fly, but I knew there would come a moment I could finally go to visit a sanctuary in Thailand. With the pilgrimage ahead, that moment was realized. It only took me about ten minutes to find the amazing and wonderful work of KSES in the Northern region of Thailand. I came across the ‘Elephants. No Commodities.’ report by World Animal Protection and KSES was the sanctuary with which my values aligned. Luckily for me, I was allowed to stay for a research internship.
One of the current main research interests is elephant association; how do they interact with each other. That is where I helped a bit with gathering data this week on all the elephants. Because of the easy-to-use app Aislinn (Research Coordinator) built, collecting data in the field and analyzing after becomes easy.
So, here we are, at the end of a week with magical experiences. I got to learn so much about Asian elephants, how they interact, how their anatomy looks like – and how it is comparable to ours – and why they take a significant role in the forest. This is a place where they can just live, can be themselves. It truly makes me happy. And with the integration of the village, the villagers, KSES, the interns and the visitors, this is a magical place.