Volunteering Jobs with Elephants in Thailand

So you wanna change the world and singlehandedly save the elephants from extinction huh? Good.

Well – grab a shovel and start with shoveling some shit.

It ain’t all rolling around in the water and taking photo opps to impress your friends with how much the animals love you. You gotta roll up those sleeves in the scorching sun and get down and dirty with it, but if manual labor and feces is your thing, then check out volunteering with Save Elephant Foundation at their property Elephant Nature Park.

Okay – So I want to give back. I want to get up close and personal with a giant animal that can squash me. Yes I want to take amazing photos in the water to make my friends jealous. How do I get this volunteer job?

Easy as Sunday morning.

You can check out Save Elephant Foundation, which is the organization that assists Elephant Nature Park  as well as three other projects  that involve saving different animals  (Elephant Nature Park, Journey to Freedom, Elephant Sanctuary in Cambodia, and Surin Project).

How much does it cost?

A week cost about $400 bucks.

elephant bath time

WTF – would I pay $400 to volunteer?

Excellent question my dear sweet panda cub. Firstly, because elephants eat a lot, even more than your average American surprisingly. And since they are also rescuing these beaten and abused elephants, buying more land so that said elephant may roam as free as possible, AND at the same time feeding and sheltering their sweaty little volunteers – a little donation is necessary to keep the cogs rolling and the world turning.  I abhor all of these online “volunteering” or “interning” jobs abroad that cost $2,500 and your first new born child to lend a hand, as it is usually some mysterious third party tourism company who makes out like a greedy hob goblin. And as anyone who has spent any time on my site can figure out pretty quickly, I like to be the only greedy hob goblin in the equation.

So in summation – elephant good. Elephant needs help. Volunteer with elephants good. Turner sucks at manual labor. Help save the elephant by helping them not allow Turner to come back and not work even more.

So what are you waiting for, go help save elephants and shovel some shit huh?

Turner barr

Hi, my name is Turner. I travel the world, hustle to find interesting jobs, and write about what happens when you read too many self-help books.

  • Casey @ A Cruising Couple
    Posted at 21:14h, 01 May

    You’re hilarious! Love this though. I agree-$400 a week is nothing when compared to a lot of the volunteering programs that cost thousands. Having participated in a few myself, I know what you mean about the mysterious third parties getting all the money. While I’m not sure how I’ll do on the shoveling shit front, this sounds like an awesome experience. Just might have to look into it a little more! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • James Lewis @ Thailand for Children
    Posted at 07:28h, 02 May

    I’m suspect about some of these big-money voluntourism positions too. I’m sure some of them are worthwhile. And other ones… well…

    Thailand does offer a lot of amazing opportunities to get up close and personal with elephants though. Especially at elephant camps/parks/conservation centres up in the north of the country like the Elephant Nature Park you share here.

  • Jenna
    Posted at 21:24h, 02 May

    Volunteering at this place is on my to-do list, and the more I hear about it, the more I look forward to it even if it involves manual labor 🙂 That photo of you with the little guy in the water is adorable.

    • Turner
      Posted at 21:41h, 04 May

      Thanks Jenna. Yeah it was super fun to play with him. Except when he stepped on my foot. A baby elephant is still an elephant. ha

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