The African Lion Safari is located in Hamilton, ON, Canada. At this ‘wildlife preserve’ you will see parrots, vultures, camels, giraffes, elephants, lions, cheetahs, zebras, and anything else you could possibly imagine that you would see in Africa. A couple years ago, I made the mistake of going to African Lion Safari. Just because it has safari or wildlife preserve in the name, does not make the living conditions any better for the animals. Bigger cages does not mean it still isn’t classified as a Zoo.
To sum up my experience at African Lion Safari, I went early morning to watch the feeding of the lions. Although it was educational and interesting to see, the lions were still in a gated off field while we drove through in a gated off jeep. I spent the rest of the day at African Lion Safari only to watch The Elephant Show. These elephants are trained to stand on their back to legs, to speak, and to even hold a paint brush to paint a t-shirt with their trunks (t-shirts were afterwards sold for $60.00).
These elephants are captured, trained, and live in these zoo’s solely for the purpose of human entertainment. That is why I want to introduce you to The Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand. Located 160km South-West of Bangkok is Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand. This hands-on experience works with rescued elephants for an elephant refuge and education center. It accepts volunteers who have a passion for ethics and morals towards animals and would wish to learn more about them and the problems that they face. The elephants are wild and domestic (captured in the wild for tourism). The Elephant Sanctuary’s “enclosures” are natural barriers, like lakes and trees, and measure up to 7 hectares each.
Volunteers are WELCOMED! Short term stays start at a minimum of one week, however long term stays are possible AND the longer you stay, the cheaper it gets.
One week starts at 375€ which exchanges at $545CAD. This price includes the cost of caring for the elephants, your food, and your accommodations. Accommodations are simple bungalows, with 2 or 3 beds, and a bathroom (toilet + shower). There is a large kitchen in the main cabin to make yourself breakfast or hot drinks, however lunch and dinner is supplied and cooked for you. This price does not include flights! Flights to Bangkok from Toronto can range from $1000 to $2100 depending on the time and airline that you book with. It also does not include transportation to and from the hotel. Bangkok Airport is located 200km away from The Elephant Sanctuary. The streets of Bangkok are chaotic and crowded, which cancels out renting a car. Their taxi’s are motorcycles and tuk-tuks (motorized trishaws). There are ordinary, rapid, and express trains from Bangkok to Phetchaburi. Uber and UberX is in Thailand, and may be cheaper than a regular taxi. Bangkok’s currency is a Thai Baht. An Uber in Thailand from Bangkok to The Sanctuary will cost you around $65.00CAD, which is 1,799฿.
The weather in Thailand is typically hot and muggy year-round. Pack light clothing and acceptable footwear.
Before you can volunteer at The Elephant Sanctuary, you must be in good physical condition (tolerate the heat), over 18 years old, and able to speak English.
Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand
108 Moo 6, Tha Mai Ruak, Phetchaburi 76130, Thailand
For more information, please e-mail email@example.com or fill out an application: download an application
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