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Glynllifon Student Helps with Elephant Conservation in Thailand

A Coleg Glynllifon student has just returned from Thailand after getting the opportunity to help with an elephant conservation project.

Osian Hughes from Groeslon, who is studying on the Level 3 Animal Care course at Glynllifon, was in Chiang Mai for two weeks, learning about the conservation plan and assisting with the work of recording the behaviour of the elephants in their natural habitat.

He also got the chance to learn about the vital conservation efforts aimed at promoting ethical elephant tourism, and the plans to establish a viable, sustainable eco-tourism program in the local community.

Surrounded by the stunning mountain scenery of northern Thailand, the project’s work takes place in the Mae Chaem Area, a five-hour journey into the wilderness, where the famous communities that keep Karen elephants live and have shared a unique and sacred relationship with elephants for hundreds of years.

Osian said: “Getting the chance to go and volunteer on an elephant conservation project in Chiang Mai was truly an amazing opportunity. Being there in the mountains working with the local community was an unforgettable experience; I made friendships that will stay with me forever."

He added: “Learning about this type of conservation is very important, and reinforces the fact that we all belong to one ecosystem and that we must all work together to make a better future for all.

He added: “As a young lad, coming to college for the first time, I never imagined that I would get the chance to go on my own to the other side of the world to work with elephants. The whole experience provided by the college, has given me so much more confidence, and I am now happy working with all kinds of animals.”