Deep in the rain forest of Northern Thailand, “set in a natural valley, bordered by a river, and surrounded by forested mountains” is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center that “offers a timeless glimpse of rural life.” Elephant Nature Park, set in Chiang Mai province, provides a sanctuary for elderly, disabled and distressed elephants from all over Thailand. Many of these pachyderms are retired from the logging and farming industry where they were used for labor. Volunteers and visitors contribute to the care, welfare, development and healing of these animals in this very natural environment. (www.ElephantNaturePark.org)
Three VT students from MSB-Shakopee, Allison Perreault, Allison Burnham and Jenna Hallin, have applied for the volunteering program and have paid their deposits. The cost of the week long trip,( September 28-October 8, 2012) is $500, plus airfare and spending money.
Allison Perreault, who has previously lived in Colorado, and has been trained at the Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology, heard about the opportunity to serve from a fellow VT. The opportunity is also posted on the SCNAVTA bulletin board on the MSB-Shakopee campus. “It is a once in a life-time opportunity,” said Allison. “I snatched it up-I have to do it!”
The Elephant Nature Park, established in the 1990’s, is located 60 kilometers from the nearest city. The students anticipate a twelve hour train ride from Bangkok to the remote village. There is no running water in which to bathe or help rehabilitate the Asian elephants. In addition to animal care, Allison, Allison and Jenna will teach some English to village children.
Allison Burnham echoes Allison Perreault’s comments, “This will be an experience of a lifetime. It is something I have always been interested in. I have to do this.”
For more information about Veterinary Technician programs at Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee, contact Gretchen Seifert, Director of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-516-7002.