'I Developed A Deeper Sense Of Obligation to save this beauty, for other generations to see' - Read Mollie's Account Of The Great Elephant Project!

'I Developed A Deeper Sense Of Obligation to save this beauty, for other generations to see' - Read Mollie's Account Of The Great Elephant Project!

Posted by Leanne Sturrock on 7th Aug 2017

We always love hearing from our volunteers – especially when they’re sharing stories from their travels! Today we have a blog entry from one of our Great Elephant Project volunteers, Mollie. See what she had to say about her time in Sri Lanka!

What was the highlight of your trip?

It was so peaceful to leave my often-hectic world behind and become fully immersed in the rural wilds of Sri Lanka. From a young age, elephants have always been my favourite species, so to have the opportunity to witness these magnificent beings in their natural habitat, completely wild, is something I will cherish forever. I was able to witness the beauty and tranquility that surrounded the field-house and enjoy the solitude that comes with closely connecting to nature. My days were spent taking part in a variety of conservation research projects, such as examining elephant dung to determine migratory patterns and feeding habits, and taking part in important community engagement with local villagers, to hear their stories and struggles with elephant conflicts, to determine sustainable solutions. My nights were spent either elephant monitoring in the tree huts by the elephant corridor, or watching the sun-set by an open fire, whilst connecting to like-minded people from all over the world and from all walks of life. The weekends were our own, so I was able to travel around Sri Lanka taking in new sights and experiences, and becoming fully immersed in the culture and heritage. It would be impossible for me to determine a specific highlight, as the entire trip itself was my highlight!

Smiling elephants

Would you revisit The Great Elephant Project, or go to any other projects?

Definitely! This trip instilled a sense of wanderlust within me, and I intend to start my career as a field-research scientist. I hope to make a difference in both animal and environmental conservation by taking part in many more research projects.

What are you trips for new travellers?

Make sure you extensively research each project before you make your decision, and be prepared to live most of the time without the luxuries of modern life (i.e. Wi-Fi, hot water, and electricity!) Most importantly, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new, whilst being safe at the same time!

Monkey eating

If you had to describe your trip in 3 words, what would they be?

Tranquil, remarkable, inspiring.

Did the trip inspire you to help animal conservation in any other ways?

This trip inspired me to make more sustainable life choices and, since returning, I have ditched the use of plastic straws and bags. I have recently graduated university and intend to follow my dream to become a conservationist, with the goal being to run my own research project one day.

Elephants in Sri Lanka

Why do you think people need to travel?

It is so important for people to have to opportunity to travel, by doing so and witnessing the intense beauty of sunsets, majestic waterfalls that look too beautiful to be real, or monkeys swinging on forest vines, you realise the world is full of so much beauty. In myself, a passion was ignited and I developed a deeper sense of obligation to save this beauty, for other generations to see. Travelling has made me the person that I am; I now embrace and not fear new experiences and relationships, and I am so excited to continue the adventure that is life.

Inspired by what Mollie had to say? Head to our project page now and find your own place on this incredible elephant experience!


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