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Working with rescued Elephants in Thailand

My experience in Thailand was one I will never forget. The wildlife centre was an amazing place to wake up every morning and the people you meet from all over the world will be friends forever! The combined elephant centre is also well worth doing (an offer almost exclusive with PoD). I have missed everything about the centre since I have been home and I can't wait to go back!

Wildlife Centre
Arriving at Bangkok airport, was rather scary to me I'm not going to lie but once I had my baggage I went off to find my taxi driver who was sat waiting for me. The journey to the centre took about 3 hours, most of which I slept unfortunately, but the jetlag and travelling had kicked in. Once we got to the centre, the volunteer coordinator came out to meet me with a big friendly smile and he made me feel welcome straight away. He showed me to my room. My room could sleep up to 4 people but during my stay there were 3 of us sharing. The facilities are basic but that's what I expected and what the experience is all about. He then showed me around the centre which is a lot bigger than I thought it would be and I thought I would never be able to find my way around......but it all gets easier!

There is a rota that gets changed daily for what duties you are to do There is a variety of animals at the centrethat day. If the centre has enough volunteers there are 3 primate groups, 3 bear groups and another wildlife group. During my stay I was able to work on a variety of groups which was a really good experience and you don't end up doing the same job over and over. The routine is roughly the same but varies whether you are on bears or primates.

Daily routine:
6.30 start: food prep/water round
7.30: feed round
8.00: breakfast
9/9.30: clean enclosures/any other jobs which need doing
10-2: make and set up enrichment.  Short break for lunch at 12.
2.15: food prep/water round
3.15: feed round
4.00: water round
Day normally finishes around 5pm.
At the end of the day you have your own time. There's plenty to do though so you will never get bored. We had film nights, game nights and football nights. It's your experience you have to make it what you want it to be. The village is about a ten minute walk away where there is access to the internet and lots of little shops for snacks and drinks etc.
Because you move around the different sections in the centre you get to work with different people from all over the world and get to know some incredible people that do make friends for life.
If you are prepared to work hard, have a laugh and be part of a team then this is a fantastic opportunity for you.

Elephant centre
Becci bathing the elephants in ThailandThe Elephant day is slightly quieter but just as much work. As we all aspects of the centre you get trained by volunteers which have been there for longer, which can and does end up being you eventually!
Daily routine:
6.30: go to the forest to collect the elephants
7.30: feed
8.00: Breakfast
9/10: Food harvest/manure management
10-2: make and set up enrichment, with a short break for lunch at 12.
2: Bath the elephants
3: Walk the elephants back to the forest
4: Clean out the enclosuresBecci and fellow volunteers mucking out the enclosures

You get one day a week off which is always welcome. You can have a day off with any friends which you've made while there. The usual places to go are Cha am and Hua Hin. Both are lovely towns to go shopping, have a massage and generally just relax.

The only thing I would recommend is plan your time there wisely as I regret is not staying for longer and not

leaving a bit of time for travelling at the end.

Becci Fincham's placement in Thailand was arranged through PoD.