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A TRIP to Thailand for couple Michelle Haslam and Colin Chasney led to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to aid one woman s fight to save the Asian elephant. Michelle, 20, and Colin, 32 uncovered the Elephant Nature Park, in the Chaing Mai Province in the

A TRIP to Thailand for couple Michelle Haslam and Colin Chasney led to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to aid one woman's fight to save the Asian elephant.

Michelle, 20, and Colin, 32 uncovered the Elephant Nature Park, in the Chaing Mai Province in the north of Thailand, while researching their month-long trip to the popular travellers' destination.

The park was founded by Sangduen Chailert in 1996 as a refuge.

Michelle and Colin, who live in Chasehill Road, Arlesey, spent three days as volunteers at the park which houses 16 elephants rescued from a life of maltreatment and abuse in the tourist industry.


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"We spent three nights in a bamboo hut at the park and got to clean and feed these elephants. In north Thailand elephants seem to be a big part of the tourist industry, and the majority of elephants in the area are trained to 'work' for entertainment purposes such as riding and circus performances," said Michelle.

The number of Asian elephants in the world today is becoming dangerously low. It is estimated that there are fewer than 30,000 left, with under 4,000 in Thailand.

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"During our time out there we tried an elephant ride, but we found our time at the park to be a much more pleasurable experience. Not only did we get to witness the elephants' natural behaviour, we were also given the chance to support the Asian elephants survival for the future," said Michelle.

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