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Maria's Experience with the Wild Elephants

I spent two weeks at the Wild Elephant Conservation and Research program. I met some lovely people and had lots of fun. I enjoyed the dorms, and although there are walls, they aren’t joined to the roof, so it’s rather lovely having that gap and falling asleep and waking to the sounds of nature. The cold showers are a blessing at the end of a session of tree planting or vegetation slashing and clearing.

Volunteer in Sri Lanka - Wild Elephant Conservation and Research

The field house staff can’t do enough for you, and the guides and drivers are local and therefore extremely knowledgeable about their environment and the area covered by the local organization. The conservation staff often defer to their knowledge and they all work extremely well as a team. I learned a great deal about wild Asian elephants, and how human/elephant conflict has untold financial, environmental and sometimes tragic consequences.

Volunteer in Sri Lanka - Wild Elephant Conservation and Research

The local team is trying to find ways to solve this problem, sometimes with innovative ideas, for example planting orange groves, as elephants hate citrus fruit and will hopefully avoid such vicinities. They are all passionate about their work, and I hope they are able to continue this necessary work for the foreseeable future.