Animal Welfare - Elephant Project (Surin)

Volunteer in Animal Welfare - Elephant Project in Thailand
  • Learn all about elephants and how to care for them
  • Gain hands-on experience working alongside local care professionals
  • Immerse in the Thai way of life through safe and carefully-screened homestays
  • Practice Thai while learning to cook famous Thai dishes, explore beautiful natural wonders and discover the historic and cultural ruins in your downtime

Does getting up close and personal with the largest land mammal sound exciting to you? Volunteer in Thailand in the Elephant Conservation project! Home to over 400 elephants, Surin is known as the Elephant Province. The elephants were originally captured from wild jungles and used as farming ‘machinery’ by Surin’s founding fathers. Now that logging has been outlawed, these elephants have become redundant. These elephants are extremely expensive to look after as a fully-grown elephant eats over 400kgs of food each day. Many elephant owners (known as Mahouts) have sold their elephants or taken them to the streets of big cities to beg for money from tourists, which is illegal, very dangerous and harmful for the elephants. New Hope partners up with local nonprofit organizations and community members to promote elephant care and conservation and teach locals about the importance of protecting elephants and animals in Thailand. As a volunteer, you’ll feed, groom, care for, play with and give medical attention to elephants and truly have the chance to become a friend to them. This is the perfect opportunity for you to walk side-by-side these majestic creatures while exploring Thailand’s rich history and culture, famous cuisine, and its gorgeous natural beauty!

Volunteers' Responsibilities

As a volunteer in the Elephant Conservation project in Thailand, you’ll be placed on the outskirts of the Surin Province lies the farming community of Tha-Tum. This community is home to approximately 250 people and over 30 elephants. Depending on your individual interests and skills, and on the needs of the local staff, there are four major aspects of the conservation work that you may be involved in:

  • Feeding elephants
  • Riding elephants to bathe them in the river
  • Playing with the elephants
  • Support organizations with administration tasks and organizations
  • Gardening and farming
  • Keeping the elephants healthy with medical treatment
  • Teaching locals about the importance of animal rights and conservation
  • Working on conservation efforts
  • Fundraising and researching further resources
How You Can Make a Difference

By volunteering in Thailand in the Elephant Conservation project, you will be working with local organizations that provide care for animals and elephants. The organizations are often short on resources and are always in need of volunteers to give the gentle giants the attention and care that they need and deserve. The project educates the volunteers on the plight of the animal and tries to bridge the barrier of human-animal communication. This project is a rare and amazing opportunity for hands-on experiences with elephants while enjoying the natural beauty and culture of Thailand. If you’re seeking a career in animal welfare or veterinary, this would be a great first step!

Skills and Qualifications

There are no specific qualifications needed to volunteer with the elephant conservation project in Thailand. Volunteers should have a deep love for animals, a hard-working attitude and a respect for the local staff and community members. Please note that this project requires volunteers to spend much of their time outdoors.

Project Location

This project is located in Surin.

Surin is located in the northeast region of Thailand about 450 kms from Bangkok and has a population of about 100,000. The town is known for its elephant festivals, silk, jasmine rice, ruins, temples and Buddhist shrines. Volunteers can enjoy the City Pillar Shrine, Wat Burapharam, Surin National Museum, art galleries, Phanom Sawai Forest Park, Khmer ruins, Ban Buthom Basketry Village, handicraft markets, wildlife sanctuaries, etc. Surin is also known for its incredibly friendly people.

During the project, volunteers will have the weekend to travel around Thailand and enjoy the Thai culture and landscape. The southern part of Thailand is known for its pristine beaches and is very popular with tourists. The northern areas include forests and hills and have many popular trekking and hiking destinations. The urban centers of Chiang Mai and Bangkok are famous for night life, good restaurants and also have many other attractions like temples, markets and museums.

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