It has been another frantic week at the site, with lots of action after numerous Thai contractors visited us to discuss the critical next stage with our Project Manager, Jake. One of the contractors is pictured sitting by a pool in his improvised hammock discussing the plans with Jake!
We have been looking at various ideas for the pools with the safety and comfort of the elephants in mind – remembering these are going to be elderly animals needing easy access.
Concrete is out as it is not in-keeping with the ecological ethos of the project, and we want to create a natural waterway for the elephants to bathe in. It is important to have a range of substrates to walk on to encourage natural exfoliation of the elephants’ feet.
Here you can see some photos of the pools before work started and a 24 second video clip taken by Ollie
The pools are an essential part of maintaining a high standard of elephant welfare – STEF’s top priority. Not only for drinking, elephants love, and need, to bathe in order to cool down and get some respite from the hot sun.
Two natural eco-sensitive ramps will be built to give the elephants an easy route into and out of the pool.
The other two pools to the east of the site will be dredged and re-profiled, and a water supply will be connected to allow them to be flushed through with clean water, so they remain fresh and silt-free. There will be a natural cascade of water between the middle pool and elephant pool. Trees growing between the pools will provide vital shade for the elephants around the centre .
This is a very exciting stage of the site’s development and we feel it will be a wonderful feature for our new family of elephants.
You can help us in our work to make this the most exciting home for retired elephants in Southern Thailand through a donation. As STEF is a UK charity, if you use Gift Aid we can reclaim an extra 25% in tax on every eligible donation made by a UK taxpayer. If you can, please support us.
Come back next week, to read another blog post on the new site’s progress!