• 18 people are interested

Elephant Research Internship

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ORGANIZATION: Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary

  • 18 people are interested
Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary

If you want to have a unique experience hiking in the forest to find the elephants and observing and studying their natural behaviours in their home environment, Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary is the right place for you. Come and join us for the experience of a lifetime. Volunteers must be physically fit to hike everyday up and down the mountains to get to the elephants. In our sanctuary, you can see exactly where your donations are going and how they are benefiting our sanctuary, our elephants and our community.

Our sanctuary has just rescued 4 elephants from the tourism industry and we have now brought them home to live out their lives in the forest, in semi-wild conditions. We need volunteers to help us keep these elephants happy and healthy in their natural habitat. With volunteer support and donations, we hope to return more elephants to the forest soon.

Our Village

The Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary is set amongst the rolling hills of Northern Thailand in a Karen hilltribe village. It is surrounded by a forest that is perfect for our elephants to roam and forage in.

The Karen people are originally from Myanmar but they have migrated to Thailand in search of a better life during the wars over generations. Due to this they have their own language and culture, which volunteers will have the opportunity to learn and experience. They are keen weavers and are well known in Thailand for their elephant keeping. They make an income from their elephants and working the fields, mainly growing rice and corn using rotational slash and burn. Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn more first-hand about their culture and even help out in the community when required.

This internship is an exciting opportunity for any current or recently graduated science university students who want more in-field scientific work experience. It is also perfect for anyone with an interest in research or collecting data in the field on animal behaviour. Applicants must have at least some previous data collection experience, but a small amount of training will be provided on arrival.

Typical Day

Our days begin with early morning hikes through the forest to find the elephants, staying with them while observing and taking data on their natural behaviours until lunch and assisting the staff with any visitors or volunteers. Some days lunch is eaten with the elephants in the forest, a very unique experience! Hikes will usually return to the village around early afternoon.

The afternoons will consist of data entry and completing project work such as creating a portfolio on our elephants and improving our research ideas, with some evenings being spent giving talks and presentations on elephant research or conservation to create awareness and educate our guests. Interns will work together with our staff and volunteers both in the forest and onsite.

Fee to cover all expenses: $1600/£1200/50,000THB

Expenses include: All food and accommodation on site as well as your in-country transport to/from project on arrival and departure

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About Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary


259 Moo 9, Soi 6, Hang Dong District, Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai 50230, TH

Mission Statement

Working with a hilltribe community to bring elephants back to the forest


We are a Non-Profit Foundation who are dedicated to giving our elephants the best life possible with the help of our visitors and volunteers. Our aim is to bring elephants home to the forest by working with the local communities to not only provide a haven for our elephants, but also provide an alternative livelihood for their mahouts and owners.

Our elephants have been taken from a life of inadequate health care, poor diet, exhaustion and entertaining tourists; they were unable to just be elephants. We brought these wonderful creatures back to their natural environment where they are living in semi-wild conditions, free to roam as much as possible and live their lives how they choose - interacting and foraging. We plan to bring elephants of all ages and sizes home to the forest, but we need your help.


Animals, Environment, International


We'll work with your schedule.


259 Moo.9 Soi.6 Hangdong districtChiang Mai, Chiang Mai Thailand



  • Animal Care / Handling
  • Veterinary
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Botany


  • People 55+


  • Must be at least 18
  • 8-12 weeks

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