Elephant valley project day 1

The sanctuary I chose helps the locals as well. They provide health care and scholarships for kids to go to school. The problem isnt that you have to pay for school, it’s the parents rather have more income and have the kid helps out at work. The program explained that their scholarships, instead of money, are giving rice to the families. My sunglasses were put on promptly after hearing that. 

Elephants have 3 different noises. A trumpet, grumble, and squeak. One day whale scientists were playing with their equipment in Africa and discovered elephants use a form of echo location. Their grumble is from their sinuses, travels down through the pads of their feet for other elies to feel/hear (?) 

Traditionally elephants worked a couple days here and there. When and family wanted to see other family. Build a house (once in 10 years maybe) and the rice harvest 2 times a year. Now they are used for logging/constitution and tourism. So some during the day are ridden by tourists and then other work before or after buisness hours.

Most elephants in captivity are trained my being stabbed with bull hooks or sharpened bamboo. One Elephant lost her right eye sight from a bull hook. So sometimes she gets lost and calls out to the others (via grumble). She was very lost today, but the rest of them were like 10 meters away haha. One is scared of water because she was used for logging and was towing a log down hill. The log pushed her butt and she slid into the river below and got dragged down by the log tied to her. One elephant was sold to the sanctuary because her land was deforested for rubber plants. And she would rip up the rubber trees hoping they were food. Another one was used for tourism and is going through treatments to heal her feet from living and working on cement. It’s been 2 years and her front feet are healed.
Baby elephants have no control over their trunks until they’re about 2 😂 but then they can start using tools. They swat themselves with saplings and scratch with firmer sticks. They’ve also proven elephants can self recognize. They placed an odorless marker on its forehead when it was sleeping. They also showed it a mirror. It looked around the mirror. Then back. And then touched it’s trunk to the marker on its head.

Asian female elephants don’t have tusks but African females do. Asian ones have more toe nails. They’re smaller and have a different head shape.

Anyways as you can tell it was exciting and I learned a lot.

We went to base camp for lunch. Lunch was buffet style. It was great and I filled my plate with cheap backpacker flair. After that was volunteering. Which was… volunteering. 


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Nan says:

    Wow you did learn a lot about elephants. They are pretty smart little dudes and dudettes I think they play the system ass long as it is beneficial to them the little buggars. You have changed so much maya I almost feel you would be unrecognizable Would still feel the love


  2. Nan says:

    there is a book I just read by Jodi Picholi (sp) may have spoken about it, but other than being a bit hokey on the human side it is amazing on the side of the wolf. I think the elephant would be fascinating for you to learns wolf (dog) speak


  3. Irene Fizzell says:

    I recently watched a video on how mistreated elephants are, so sad. Nice to see them in a different setting.Big hugs, still living vicariously through you xoxoxox


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