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Saving Thailand's Elephants - Thailand and Myanmar with Jennie of the Jungle Part 1

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I just got back from an amazing volunteer trip to Thailand to work with rescued elephants in Chiang Mai. Myself, my co-leader Aron, and our four JOJ volunteers spent a week in the hills of Northern Chiang Mai with the Karen tribe, who have owned elephants for centuries. These elephants were once used for subsistence by putting them to work in the logging industry. They were captured, brutally tamed, and put to work hauling large felled trees from the forest. After the advent of tourism, they were put to work in the trekking and entertainment industry, forced to learn tricks, perform, and carry tourists on their backs all day in the hot sun. Suffice it to say these animals are not treated well. Abuse and cruelty were the only ways the owners knew to keep their elephants in check.

Many organizations are now trying to help Thailand's captive elephants have a better life. On the forefront, Save Elephant Foundation, run by Lek Chailert, is running a number of different projects that b…