Ef­forts go to help res­cued ele­phants

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News -

Ele­phants at an award-win­ning Ele­phant Na­ture Park in Thai­land will be more than $4000 bet­ter off thanks to the ef­forts of a Taupo¯ yoga teacher and her stu­dents and the gen­eros­ity of a lo­cal box­ing gym.

Yin Yoga teacher Emma Scott em­barked on a fundrais­ing ven­ture for the ele­phants in Jan­uary after re­turn­ing from a week-long visit last year vol­un­teer­ing at the Ele­phant Na­ture Park in Chi­ang Mai in Thai­land.

Since Jan­uary she has been hold­ing weekly hour-long early morn­ing Yin Yoga classes on a Fri­day with all koha/do­na­tions from par­tic­i­pants go­ing to the fundrais­ing ef­fort.

Be­tween 16 to 18 Yin Yoga en­thu­si­asts turned up dur­ing the sum­mer months for out­door classes on the lake­front. The classes were able to con­tinue through the win­ter months after Rhythm of Com­bat Muay Thai Box­ing Gym in Nukuhau St do­nated the use of the gym for classes.

Emma says the sup­port from her stu­dents and the gen­eros­ity of the lo­cal box­ing gym along with sev­eral one-off do­na­tions have en­abled her to raise a to­tal of $4300 for the ele­phants.

The park, which is home to around 90 res­cued ele­phants of all ages, was started up by Thai na­tional and ele­phant whis­perer Lek Chail­ert.

It was es­tab­lished on a block of land 60km north of Chi­ang Mai after a Texan busi­ness­man who heard of Lek’s ef­forts to save ele­phants do­nated $6.5 mil­lion to the cause.

Emma says the vol­un­teer­ing she did dur­ing last year’s ini­tial visit and the work be­ing done to re­store the res­cued ele­phants to full health in­spired her to make a re­turn visit and do some fundrais­ing of her own for the project.

Emma heads to Chi­ang Mai later this month for her sec­ond visit to vol­un­teer at the park and will be hand-de­liv­er­ing the funds raised in Taupo¯ to Lek Chail­ert.

“When I’m there I will be get­ting in­for­ma­tion about how it will be used and tak­ing pho­tos, so I can re­port back to ev­ery­one who has do­nated to let them know how it is be­ing spent,” she says.

Pho­tos / Sup­plied

Vol­un­teers and ele­phants at the Ele­phant Na­ture Park, Thai­land. In­set: Taupo¯ yoga teacher Emma Scott.

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