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Humble High School student travels to Thailand to save elephants

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This summer, Lydia De Leon, 17, of Humble, spent two weeks in Thailand learning about Thai culture and volunteering with rescued elephants.

Traveling with the Boston-based Loop Abroad, Humble High student De Leon was part of a small team that volunteered directly with rescued elephants at an elephant sanctuary.

The group spent one week at the Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand to work hands-on with the animals and learn about animal rescue and conservation on a larger scale. The Elephant Nature Park is home to over 40 elephants who have been rescued from trekking, logging or forced breeding programs.



Many of them have been abused and suffer from chronic injuries. At the Elephant Nature Park, they are cared for by volunteers from all over the world. Students were able to feed, bathe, and care for elephants, as well as learning about their life stories. The Elephant Nature Park is also home to over 400 dogs and 100 cats, as well as rabbits and water buffalo, and is sustained in huge part by the work of weekly volunteers like Lydia.


During her time at the Elephant Nature Park, Lydia learned about elephant tourism and behavior. She helped with the many chores needed to run the park, such as preparing elephant food, cleaning elephant cages, chopping corn and grass to feed the elephants, and planting in the ENP’s gardens.


For the rest of her time in Thailand, De Leon explored all aspects of Thai culture, from meeting with Buddhist monks to visiting a hill tribe village to learning to cook Thai food.


Of her trip, De Leon said, “I had an amazing experience.”


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