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 have seen myself or heard about through the sugarcane stock (versus the grapevine, because that’s what elephants eat… Ok, that was lame).
This one just makes sense. Various other types of animal poop are used to help crops grow faster and stronger, so why not tap into elephant poop as well? There certainly is enough of it. The Surin Project has recently begun developing its own brand of organic fertilizer by combining shredded dung with pre-mixed liquid fertilizer. In time, they hope that sales will help to further fund the Project. Until then, volunteers will continue to have “crappy” afternoons shredding poop balls by hand. I find it rather soothing.
Why cut down trees when you can simply repurpose some dung? Through a relatively simple process, villagers are able to turn elephant poop into unique paper-based souvenirs, including journals and bookmarks. I think my grandma is going to love her new photo frame. I think it will feature the photo of me sitting on a pile of dung.
It has never (and will never) snow in the Surin province, and therefore most people who live here have never seen snow. But this should not deter them from enjoying the best part about snow—snowball fights! Head to the closest dung pile and grab a few balls. While the fresher variety will be heavier and more difficult to throw, the SPLAT upon impact will be well worth the effort.
You may have read about this bizarre new trend where elephants are ingesting coffee beans, processing them through their digestive systems, and pooping them out. Then, lucky humans forage through the dung balls to collect the beans. Apparently once ground and brewed, the taste is “earthy in flavor and smooth on the palate.” And for just $50 per cup, you too can say that you drank and truly enjoyed something that tasted like crap.
You’ve all seen a typical ball toss at the county fair or Six Flag’s theme park. Few, however, have seen 12 mahouts and 12 farangs (foreigners) tossing balls of elephant poop towards one another in hopes of landing the dung in the basket and winning a coveted juice box. I have seen this phenomenon, and it is glorious. Life is simpler here, and I’m into it.
If you have further elephant dung-related knowledge, please share it below. I’m quite interested in expanding my knowledge base on the subject.