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The Travel Blogging Calendar 2014: Save The Elephants

Her eyes lit up when she could finally make out the charcoal-gray figure I was pointing at.

She gasped and squealed and ran towards it without looking back. “Dumbooo!”

A few strides away from the elephant, she stopped in her tracks. She seemed terrified. Upon closer look, there was blood splattered on the elephant’s face and ear. He was chained to a post, swaying his head left and right, over and over. He stopped for a second and directed his trunk to our daughter for a quick sniff, then fell into a trance again.

Definitely not how Luna imagined Dumbo would look or act like in real life. 

elephant1
Even our two-year-old could tell that there’s something wrong here.
 
The “meet and greet a baby elephant” was part of a day tour my sister booked in Phuket, Thailand. We were mainly interested in the ATV adventure ride, but all the excursions offered to us by the travel agent included a visit to an elephant park. So we went, and found that poor calf.
Only a few meters distance from this distressing scene were giggles from tourists riding much older elephants who are whipped and forced to trek on a path through the “jungle”. We eventually rode one too, and wished we never did. There’s nothing magical about the experience. It made us feel like we supported animal abuse for a day.
Now I’d like to help make things right. How? Remember that Travel Blogging Calendar I posed for last year? Well, the team behind it is back!
More than 20 travel bloggers have banded together to participate in the second annual Travel Blogging Calendar (TBC) project.

This year, the group wants to raise awareness about the plight of the Asian elephants and support the mission of the Save Elephant Foundation in Thailand. TBC is accepting donations on behalf of this incredible organization, and like last year they’ll be submitting 100% of the proceeds to their cause.

 About Save Elephant Foundation (taken from their site):

Save Elephant Foundation is a Thai non–profit organization (founded by Sangduen “Lek” Chailert ) dedicated to providing care and assistance to Thailand’s captive elephant population through a multifaceted approach involving local community outreach, rescue and rehabilitation programs, and educational ecotourism operations. Each of our flagship projects is aimed at accomplishing that mission, as well as working towards these goals: 

– to expand self-sustaining eco-tourism operations that benefit local communities and ecosystems
– to better incorporate our efforts into local communities
– to become a leader in the field of Asian elephant research through academic outreach and education programs
– to create practical, positive reinforcement based elephant training and rehabilitation programs
– to establish an international volunteer community that raises awareness to issues facing the Asian elephant
– to more fully integrate with the global conservation community to facilitate dynamic cross-cultural networking

Donate And Win!

Simply visit The Travel Blogging Calendar Website and choose the amount (ranges $20 to $500) you’d like to donate. The funds will be utilized to rebuild the elephants’ shelters and to purchase new land so that the park may open once again to the adoption of these beloved giants. When you give donation through this project, you are automatically entered into a raffle to win a $3,300 (USD) holiday to Thailand! Flight Network has donated a $2000 flight voucher and the eco-friendly tour company Where Sidewalks End will take you on a one-week tour in Thailand where you will even be able to visit the Save Elephant Foundation in Chiang Mai!

Winner will be selected in March of 2014.

But wait, there’s more… In return for donating, the bloggers involved have come together to build a creative new product, only available to those who donate. Each week, on an exclusive blog, they will be posting tasty new content and photos highlighting different destinations from around the world. They tell you what’s happening in the world that week and they give you lots of great new reading material to check out, too.

Really, this is a win-win thing here. So let’s shell out those dibs.
 

YinDee
Photo from http://www.saveelephant.org

Meet Elephant Nature Park’s Yin Dee, born on the 24th of August this year. I’m sure he’s the kind of Dumbo my daughter has in mind.

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Gay Emami
When not backpacking, she teaches her daughter sight words and belly dancing (even if she's not good at it). She's currently eating her way around some hippie town in Australia. She loves talking about herself in the third person.

33 thoughts on “The Travel Blogging Calendar 2014: Save The Elephants

  1. I love the red sneakers because i can match any outfit for it. a Perfect for holiday season 😀 Red is a lucky color too 😀

  2. Aaaahhh hard to choose which color. I think I’ll choose the yellow one. It’ll stand out in the crowd when worn and would love to win those so I can wear it on my Thailand adventure with my bestfriend next year muehehe

  3. I want the color Light gray for my Bensimon pair! Very versatile one and will surely fit my Outgoing Attire!

  4. I want yellow or red because its my favorite colors and I feel happy when I’m seeing color yellow and red hahaha

  5. “Even our two-year-old could tell that there’s something wrong here.”

    Indeed. It’s sad to think how adults fail to realise what children easily perceive. Thank you for sharing this article. I’m all up for tourism, but not at the expense of animals. I can’t imagine why they have to put that baby elephant in chains. For the life of me, I just can’t.

  6. orange, I want to try different colors, I’m done with the usual white and black I want something new this 2014 ^^

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