In December 2013, my husband and I, who were just married the same year, decided to visit the ‘Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital’ in Thailand. Built in Lampang, Thailand, ‘Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital’ have treated over 4,000 cases of sick and injured elephants since 1993. They have treated over 15 land mine victims and hundreds of illnesses from gun shot wounds to car accidents. We were able to help by volunteering for a day at the hospital where we got to feed and meet the lovely elephants, and help the staff with certain projects they needed guidance on. For example, translating Thai children’s books about the importance of keeping Elephants safe, into english.
One of my most favourite moments was visiting Mosha. Mosha experienced a most unfortunate accident in that her leg had been blown off by a land mine. She was the first elephant to receive a prosthetic limb by Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation. We were not allowed to go in and work the elephants for liability reasons, but we were able to feed them peanuts and watch their behaviour as they went about their day.
It was one of the most amazing and fulfilling things I have ever done in my life, and even brought tears to my eyes at times. I would go back to volunteer again in a heart beat. If you love and care about elephants, this is the place to visit and donate your time.