Hello Beautiful BEES friends there has been a lot happening the past 2 months 🙂 ,
Apologies everyone for not blogging for such a long time. The internet access is very limited in our area most of the time, but with the rainy season being at its peak we are finding it even more difficult to get connection to be able to update all our beautiful followers. So this is a long blog update! Happy Reading…..
Mae Jumpee 1 year at BEES:
It has been very busy here since our last blog back in July. Mae Jumpee has celebrated her 1 year at BEES on the 16th August. We rent Mae Jumpee because her owners do not want to sell her and she needed to be retired, BEES offers an alternative for elephants and their owners to get away from the hardships of city life and give elephants a chance to have freedom.
Mae Jumpee’s ‘1 year at BEES/Retirement day’ was spent in the forest munching on natures gifts of lush green bamboo, leaves, branches and vines. She also played with mud and went swimming in the deep of the river and headed back to the project site in the late afternoon to have a nice celebration feast we prepared for her special day. She had bananas, papuas, mangoes, coconut leaves and sugar cane.
Cheeky Mae Kam got to the pile of treats first and Mae Jumpee came slowly behind. Mae Jumpee spends everyday living life to the fullest and just doing what an elephant should always have the ability to do, to just be an elephant! She is a BIG 68 years old this year and such a beautiful, wise and gentle old lady. Her age is definitely starting to show as she is always tearing her old skin, she walks very slowly and she can’t walk steep hills like younger elephants can. She spends every day out in the forest or along the river just doing whatever she fancies. We are always finding little scratches/grazes on her skin. She has spent her life in captivity and as she ages her skin weakens, it is very easy for her to get a scratch or graze that could easily become more serious. Most people think elephant skin is very thick and strong, it can be thick in some areas on the body but don’t be mistaken it is also extremely sensitive and they can feel the smallest insect bite just like we can. It is very important an elephant baths daily and has the ability to exercise natural behavior. In the wild elephant’s bath regularly, they coat their skin with dust and mud and rub off excess skin against trees and rocks.
In Mae Jumpee’s previous life working in tourist trekking she was not given the ability to bath and express natural skin care behavior daily, she has had a lot of catching up to do. Mae Jumpee is our special old lady and we love her dearly. Every old elephant deserves and needs lots of love and care. We hope Mae Jumpee has many more years with us to come. We can’t believe it has been a whole year since her retirement; the time has gone so fast!
Our rescued furry babies
Kitty Cat Talk:
The Kittens Gizmo and Tigger rescues from San Kamphaeng are growing like crazy! I don’t know what their little lives would have been like if Nola Lee Kelsey hadn’t found them outside the temple and saved them! They are little snuggle bunnies and as I write they are both sitting with me on my lap.
Cocoa all black in color is a cat we took in last year after she was dumped on our property with an infected wound where her tail meets her spine. She was such a skinny cat in such poor condition, but with a bit of love care and attention she has grown to be a very confident and strong willed cat. She is still part stray though as she loves to go hunting and telling other cats she is boss in the village and came home the other week with a suspected cat bite that had bitten right through her ear. We cleaned it daily and she was on antibiotics for several days and it has healed now. She still gets up to mischief; she is exploring again and comes back whenever she wants a good meal and human cuddles.
Suki one of our grey adult cats who was in a litter we took in early in 2012, had to make a trip to see the vet on Tuesday 10th Sept. She is another explorer who loves to eat rats and find secret hide outs and come home for cuddles when she is good and ready. She came home to us on Monday very skinny, weak and dehydrated. She has always been quiet a slim cat but this time she was very skinny. She is such an affectionate and loving cat, she wanted cuddles and purred a lot when we held her but she wouldn’t take anything we offered her to eat. We took her to see the vet and she has been given antibiotics and vitamins to treat a uterine infection. We are keeping her indoors and giving her lots of cuddles and making her comfortable, hoping she will be feeling better after she finishes her antibiotics. Get better soon Suki, you have been with us for so long and like all our rescues we love you with all our hearts!
Puppy Dog Talk:
Kip (white poodle) our most recent rescue is doing really well. She was in the local village shop, her hair was very dirty and in a knotted mess, full of ticks and fleas and when she had her first poo at BEES we found a milk carton that was in pieces that had passed through her system. We lost count after 100 ticks we spent hours pulling out of her fur. She saw the vet and was found to have a blood parasite that she contracted from the ticks. She has since put on weight, finished her anti-blood parasite medicine and is much brighter now she is well groomed and has a good diet. She is such a cuddly and affectionate dog. We are looking for a good home for Kip locally or abroad. It would be sad to see her go but she is a small dog and we feel it would be nicer for her to be with a family or individual without a lot large dogs around. Kip will always have a welcomed home here, if we are unable to find her a nice place to live. She is such a beautiful dog and loves attention, she is very mothering of the two kittens Gizmo and Tigger and loves to play with cats. If you would like to give Kip a loving home please contact us.
Our little dinosaurs:
The Terrapins/Tortoises are all doing well. Holly and Bubbles the two Box Terrapins are doing really well. They have regular shell cleans and have improved greatly over the last few months. Little Holly who was in a very poor condition when rescued her from the horrible living conditions in a temple has improved a lot and she has even put on a little bit of weight, she is eating well and even though she still has a bit of weakness in her hind legs we hope with continued focus on her dietary needs she will grow strong.
We recently took on a student and helper around BEES his name is Shin and he just celebrated his 20th birthday with us on the 12th September. Happy Birthday Shin!! He is from a Karen hill tribe village about 2 hours drive from BEES. He says he has always been interested in learning English but hasn’t had any way to learn until now. Sadly, his mother passed away earlier this year and the Abbott from Wat Jiang Temple in Maechaem asked if we would take Shin in and teach him English so he could have better opportunities. Shin says he would like to be a tour guide one day. He is a very bright young man and he cares a lot for the animals. He has taken to Kip our newest rescue dog and he loves helping around the project and helping to feed all our rescued animals which helps us a lot. Today we are home to 9 Cats, 9 Dogs and 5 Terrapin/Tortoises.
We have been doing a lot with the community lately and it is so lovely to see the smiles on the local villagers faces when we all come together to make a difference. Last year during the rainy season BEES organized a tree planting day on the temple grounds of Mae Tan village. This year we didn’t need to organize a tree planting day on the Temple land as the Forestry Department provided the trees and the Local Government Education Department invited us to join them, it was nice to see them come together and make an effort to bring the community together. The day was lovely, there was a break in the rain and it was so nice that the kids from our English classes where there to.
Working with the community is so important to us and teaching them to have respect for the environment is such a great start to creating a better future. The Temple land is where the Temple for Mae Tan is to be built when the village bank has enough funds to allow the building of the Temple. One of our community projects we hope we will be able to help build a temple in the village of Mae Tan for the locals because they have waited so long for this.
We have also been developing our home stay programs and currently have 6 houses on board. The home stay accommodation gives the local villagers a chance to benefit even more from the project and make an income as well. By having a home stay option guests can experience living with the community and actually living in a local home with the local people, experience something new and exciting but also to be able to gain an understanding of daily life here. The home stay rooms are a guest room in a local family’s house. They sleep 2 guests per room and are a similar set-up to what we have onsite; traditional local living: Mattress on the floor with a mosquito net. We can now take on group stays, people traveling with volunteer organizations and individuals who wish to experience living in a home stay, it is also another option when we are fully booked in the onsite accommodation. We are very excited to get this program up and running as there has bee a lot happening. By working together with the community we form great relationships and can move forward together.
Collecting Corn from local farmers after harvest and buying pumpkins from the locals:
It is harvesting time and there is loads of corn everywhere in Maechaem, one of the biggest corn producing districts in Thailand. We have been helping the locals clear there corn stems after they have harvested and the elephants LOVE it because they get loads of corn! The farmers love it too when we come to take the stems away as it means less work for them. We have also been helping the locals who have pumpkin farms by buying their unsellable pumpkins. The pumpkins are still good, but they may have a little bit of damage, are smaller than normal or quality is not up to standard for market sale, so we buy them from them. It means all their hard work hasn’t gone to waste and they can still make a profit. We have already bought 1,100kg of pumpkin this month for the elephants as treats, for our staff and for our guests.
Well that’s all for now, hopefully we can get better access to the internet when the rainy season is over and then we can update more regularly.
If you would like to join us and help make a difference for the elephants, animals and the local community, volunteer at BEES. Contact us today! By working together we CAN make a difference!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Thanks for following us!
From Emily and all of the BEES Team xxx
All Photos © BEES Elephant Sanctuary