Efforts go to help rescued elephants
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.
Volunteers and elephants at the Elephant Nature Park, Thailand. Inset: Taupo¯ yoga teacher Emma Scott.