One of the top activities people do whilst travelling is experience the amazing wildlife that we are so lucky to have all around us. But how do you know you’re supporting ethical animal sanctuaries? The best way to do this is to research before you go.
While there may be a few differences between us, humans and animals both call this big blue planet home. While most of us understand and appreciate the beauty and magnificence of these animals, there are those who see them as ‘things’ to exploit and make money. The truth is, without the work of these animal sanctuaries, and many others across the world, a lot of these animals would be almost or completely extinct. Below are some of the best places around the world to support animals whilst still maintaining a respect for nature.
Elephant Nature Park Animal Sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand
You’ll find this wonderful park in Chiang Mai province, Northern Thailand. Their main focus is on the rescue and care of elephants all over Thailand. As well as that, they help lots of other animals along the way too. They are working to stop elephant rides and instead promote their natural way of life as much as possible. They also offer a volunteer programme and lots of different tourist experiences. So you can get up close and personal with these beautiful, intelligent creatures in a respectful and ethical way.
See the amazing work the Elephant Nature Park do – Welcome to Elephant Nature Park
The Donkey Sanctuary, Devon, UK
This may not be the most exotic choice, but this sanctuary does such excellent work we had to include them. Not only do they help donkeys in the UK, they support them all over the world and help save them from mistreatment and abuse. Donkeys have been an asset to us for thousands of years, and it’s heart-breaking to see what some go through every day. The Donkey Sanctuary is working to educate communities, train vets across the world and give them a better future.
Visit the Donkey Sanctuary and find out how you can help – The Donkey Sanctuary
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Kenya
This amazing trust is an advocate for the protection of Rhinos and elephants across Kenya. They aim to educate communities far and wide on why these animals need to be protected. The ‘adopt an orphan’ project focuses on saving baby elephants who have become orphaned due to illegal poaching. This is the most successful rescue and rehabilitation programme of its type across the world. They have a zero-tolerance approach to poachers – using aerial units, rangers and tracker dogs to respond to any reports of injured animals or illegal activity and work tirelessly to ‘give wildlife a voice’.
If you are heading on holiday to Kenya, a visit to this animal sanctuary is a must – The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Australia
If you’ve always wanted to hold a koala or feed a kangaroo – this is the place to do it! The sanctuary opened in 1927, after Koala numbers were rapidly declining due to being viciously hunted for their fur. They offer refuge for sick, injured or orphaned koalas, and they aim to rehabilitate wherever possible. It’s a haven for Australia’s iconic species and a fantastic place to learn about these cute and curious animals. They aim to educate their visitors on how they can make small changes to protect the animals around them. They also offer wildlife experiences that give you the opportunity to play with Koalas all day – best day ever, right? If you’re thinking of visiting Australia, then add this sanctuary to your to-do list.
See the incredible work of this animal sanctuary and get up close and personal with Koalas – Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
In a world where poaching and hunting is still very much a problem, it’s important that we support ethical and responsible sanctuaries, that are working so hard to protect these wonderful animals. So, if you and your family want to enjoy these animals and support their welfare too in an ethical way, these animal sanctuaries are a great place to start.