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Healing Project For Asian Elephants

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My name is Molly Wells and I specialize with animal rehabilitation in the United States. I recently visited Thailand to volunteer at a sanctuary (WFFT, Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand) that is the home to now over 500 wildlife animals, 17 of them being rescued Asian Elephants. With the direct permission from WFFT, I am dedicating my time to raising money to help supply therapeutic equipment to provide advanced rehabilitation programs, medical care and veterinary supplies that are needed, as well as creating a fund to help rescue as many Asian Elephants as possible. I will be taking the first round of supplies back to Thailand to donate them to the Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand in November. This campaign was designed to raise money for specific needs and items for the rescued elephants in order to help them in their recovery process after they are rescued.

The elephants that I came into contact with were rescued from the tourism industry where they had been tortured at a young age and abused throughout their lives. One baby and her mother were saved before the baby was taken from her mother and put through the Phajaan (torturing) process, also referred to as "Breaking Their Spirit" (please google this to create a better understanding of this horrific abuse). As an endangered species these animals need help in order to survive the second phase of their lives as we attempt to keep them comfortable and at peace. Although they are protected once they have been rescued, the effects of the abuse is still prevalent. Aside from the psychological trauma that will never be erased from their memories and the stereotypical behaviors that are observed, these incredible creatures also suffer from severe chronic conditions. The conditions range from malnutrition when they arrive at the sanctuary, arthritis as a result from overuse syndrome caused by the trekking camps, wounds from being chained and hit with the bull hooks (some elephants are now blind in one eye), nerve damage, atrophied muscles from old injuries, to loss of circulation from being tied down while being tortured. This is just naming some of the conditions that I witnessed.

The rescue efforts are the initial phase of saving these magnificent creatures, and by supplying proper therapeutic care to them once they are safe will allow them to have a better quality of life, and can also extend and save their lives in many instances. It is of upmost importance that these animals receive the most advanced care available to animals today in order to complete their care moving into the protected phase of their lives. Ultimately, the goal of the sanctuaries is to allow them to live their lives in an environment that's similar to their natural habitats. In order to get to the ideal environment for them, we have to make sure they're healthy and not in pain.

My goal is to raise money to donate biofeedback microcurrent equipment (calibrated for animals) to the sanctuary, along with training their veterinary staff. They are also in need of a lot of veterinary supplies and equipment that ranges from ointment, to wrapping material, to diagnostic equipment.

Once the initial needs of the sanctuary is met then the money will go into a fund to rescue another Asian Elephant. It costs around $10,000 USD to save each elephant. This includes the rescue efforts and aftercare of the animal. This amount will be given to the sanctuary who needs it first. They usually get notified if an elephant is in critical need and the funds need to be available at that time. For every $10,000 USD raised after the initial needed amount for supplies (estimated at around $10,000 USD) then multiple elephants will be saved, and more money will be available for their care and any advanced veterinary needs.

Together we can make a difference. I will post updates on my Facebook page (Equinessence) where you will be able to find more pictures and videos from my trip to gain more knowledge of my passion for this project. I set a large goal because I want to make a larger impact in the lives of these animals who are in need.

On my flight to Thailand I saw this:
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." African Proverb


Molly Wells
Dixon, CA

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