Saturday, 16 February 2013

India: Volunteer program lets you work with elephants in Jaipur

By Rosemary McClure
9:15 a.m. CST, February 7, 2013

Get up close and personal with one of the animal kingdom’s weightiest—and most interesting—mammals, the elephant.

A new volunteer program, sponsored by the nonprofit organization United Planet, is based at an elephant sanctuary in Jaipur, India.  It provides participants with an opportunity to learn about animal care and rescue while experiencing cultural immersion.

Photo: United Planet
"Working with animals is important, rewarding -- and fun," says Theresa Higgs, a United Planet vice president. “We're happy to offer a program that works with such unique animals and in such a culturally rich part of the world.” 

Indian elephants, long considered an important part of the culture, have dwindled dramatically in number during the past 75 years. They were declared an endangered species in 1986. Today only about 25,000 to 30,000 remain.  

Volunteers who participate in the Elephant Sanctuary Quest live and work with local people, feeding the elephants, bathing and cleaning them and performing general maintenance and upkeep on the facility.

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