Category Archive: The Surin Project

The Surin Elephant Diaries – Friends & Foes, Pachyderm Style

Watching the Surin Project’s all-female elephant herd interact is like observing a middle-school lunch room, complete with newbies, groupies, and one über popular girl. It’s hilarious, fascinating, and quite frankly gives me flashbacks. Allow me to elaborate: Baby Kwan (<2 years) follows her mother Ploy (or at least she’s supposed to— little rascal) due to …

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Photo Focus – Baan Tha Klang Elephant Village, Thailand

Sunsets over the Baan Tha Klang Elephant Village, home of the Surin Project, are nothing short of extraordinary. As elephants enjoy their final meal of the day, the brightly painted sky creates silhouettes of their immense figures. It’s quite the sight to behold. Here Nong Nun, a Surin Project elephant, shows off her perfect profile …

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The Surin Elephant Diaries – The many (surprising) uses of elephant dung

You may have noticed that the abundance of elephant poop is a reoccurring topic in my recent posts. I dig the stuff—it doesn’t smell, is easy to clean up (just grab a ball and go), and has a surprising amount of practical uses that benefit the local village community. Here are the few that I …

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The Surin Elephant Diaries – Crazy Cat Ladies

It is true that you cannot escape destiny. Despite the fact that we are living in an elephant village with roaming packs of dogs, Kiera and I have managed to become the caretakers of two itty bitty kittens. I mean, teeny tiny; the smallest I’ve ever handled. And I’ve handled a lot of felines in …

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Photo Focus – Surin Project, Thailand

While returning from our walk in the forest, three of our elephants banded together to lead each other home. This simple gesture of affection illustrates just how important social interaction is for captive Asian elephants. Unfortunately, those that are kept on chains throughout most days do not get to enjoy this camaraderie. With the Surin …

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The Surin Elephant Diaries – Name That Body Part

Over the course of my first week with the Surin Project, I’ve realized that elephants have many features that I never noticed when viewing them from afar. Hair here, wrinkles there… Their bodies have a ridiculous amount of surface area, so it’s no wonder that parts of their body are quite mysterious when viewed out …

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