Bird is devoted to maintaining the traditional mahout lifestyle and teaching about the harmonious bond between man and elephants. The work he & his family and wider team carries out at the Baanchang Elephant Paradise near Chang Mai, Thailand, promotes the future well being & protection of Elephants through education & harmonious living.
Read, in Bird's own words what he is looking to achieve with his & his families work at Baanchang:-
"At Baanchang Elephant’s Paradise we believe our elephants should be treated with respect and care. We love elephants and treat them as a member of our family.Therefore:
Our elephants never work too much, the work is paced and there is plenty of time for rest and play.
There is never abuse, mishandling or ill-treatment of elephants.
We only allow one customer on an elephant at a time, accompanied by a one mahout. While you may see more then two persons per elephant at other elephant camp, it is much easier for the elephants to have no more than 2 people on at a time. We do this to ensure that our elephants are not only healthy but Happy.
The hook we use to train and control the elephants is not harmful to the elephants. Itis a simple tool used for controlling the animals , but because of their thick skin only causes a small pinch.
We are happy to care for and cure and sick elephants. Prenant and sick elephants and their trainers are always welcome at the camp and we will help them look after any elephant and nurse it back to health. This includes arranging any special transport, medication or vet visits they may need.
At other elephant camps, you see a large wooden chair placed on the elephant to carry people. These seats are heavy and can make the elephant’s skin blister and callous. Instead of the large seat, we ride bareback on the head and neck of the elephant. This is not only more comfortable for the elephant, but is an more intimate and friendlier way of interacting with the animal.
We seek to preserve and maintain the lifestyle of local communities and the mahouts, by operating in a sustainable and considerate way. All visitors to the camp learn about the traditional lifestyle, food and clothing of the mahouts.
We believe that our elephant’s work is benefitcial for the ongoing well being of elephants in Thailand and the local communities they work with.
With the same passion that we hold for our elephants, we are also dedicated to environmental sustainability in order to preserve the spirit, culture, and environment of Thailand. We try our best to meke our camp eco-friendly with the kind our products and energy uses. We have also startd and environmental education program, that teaches kids in the community about environmental issues in their area as well as the broader problems like global warming. Ban Chang realizes that education that education is the best motivator for solving the word’s problems and starts at a very local level. Guests and customers at Baanchang Elephant’s Paradise also contribute to our efforts by planting trees around the camp. It is great way to leave a positive impact during your stay in Thailand!"
And below is a short video of Bird & some of the elephants...
What donations to Baanchang are used for:-
Firstly - for the Elephants and secondly, the Elephants environment - primarily deforestation work.
When you choose to support Baanchang, you not only support kind treatment of elephants, but also help save local forests & the Elephants environment! So far they have saved more than 52 acres of land and planted thousands of native trees and bamboo! Their project is part of an even larger district effort to restore our community forests. Your donations go to the following:
1) Buying Land
2) Replanting native trees and bamboo (1 bamboo sapling costs 50 baht!)
3) Fertilising and maintaining new (baby) trees
4) Controlling fires - making firebreaks and putting out fires
Visit Baanchang in the rainy season (May-September) and you can help plant new trees. During the rest of the year they always need help with other vitally important jungle maintenance!
Thank you very much!!! Khap khun kabb!