Elephants are far and above my favorite animals on this planet. I had the wonderful experience of doing a 2 day elephant trek into rainforest near Mondul Kiri, Cambodia back in November. The man pictured above with the elephant is the mahout, and a member of the Bunong tribe in northeast Cambodia. A mahout is a person who owns and trains elephants for work. In the past, many elephants worked carrying trees to sell for wood. Now that there is much less logging allowed, the elephants and the mahouts don’t have as much work. It is difficult for them to make a living.
There are many organizations that are trying to assist the mahouts and the elephants throughout Southeast Asia. One of these organizations is the Thai Elephant Conservation Center. The TECC has many projects that help improve the care and wellbeing of Thailand’s elephants. Because the elephant is so beloved in Thailand, the King of Thailand supports this center. It houses 6 Royal White elephants. It also has an Arts and Cultures program: Some elephants are trained to paint! And others are part of an elephant orchestra!
I will be staying at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center from 4 – 6 April 2012. 3 opportunities are still available for a 15-minutes Skype session with me at from the Center for K – 5 students on Thursday, 5 April from 9-10 AM EST or 9-10 AM Bangkok time. Leave a message below if you are interested or send me a tweet: https://twitter.com/GlobalTechEd