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"My three weeks volunteering with SLWCS has been a truly humbling experience. The volunteer program, stays on the main focus of conservation and the projects done here try to bring in practical solutions to human elephant conflicts." Nisali Wijesinghe, Vancouver, Canada

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An elephant trio

Shai River
Nevada, USA

Hmm—Where to start- what a wonderful adventure filled with digging holes for orange trees, rebuilding homes, setting cameras, sand traps, walking through streams looking for pug tacks and teaching English at the school. Spending the afternoon cooling off in the tree hut—waiting for elephants--that sometimes don’t show up at the tree hut however, we saw them at the water tank. Evenings were spent making new friends from all over the world, learning new card games or catching up on reading.

Each staff member is kind, helpful, and willing to answer any and all questions regarding Elephants, other wildlife/birds/butterflies and life in the field house. I am grateful for my time spent at the field house, the experience of sharing this time with others from around the world, and the challenges I faced and overcame.

01. Shai River

Pugmark analysis

03. Shai River

First elephant!

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02. Shai River

Elephant observations

04. Lauren Howells
04. Shai River

Chilling after helping to repair home broken by an elephant

05. Shai River

Bird watching

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A fan-tailed flycatcher in its' nest.

Jie Long

This is my first time to travel by myself, also the first time to do volunteering. Everything I met was exciting and it’s a brand new experience for me, I really enjoyed it. I wish I could have at least one more week here. Everyone here is nice and friendly, we had so much fun together. I like the activities, they are really meaningful.

01. Jie Long

Digging holes to plant orange tree

02. Jie Long
03. Jie Long

Elephant observations

04. Jie Long

A large elephant herd

05. Jie Long

Bird watching

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A Common Iora

Lauren Howells

I had a great time at SLWCS. The locals were so friendly, and I enjoyed interacting with them on many occasions when we were helping the community. The weather takes some getting used to as its very hot but once you get use to it everything seems easier.

01. Lauren Howells

Going in search of pugmarks

02. Lauren Howells
03. Lauren Howells

Observing elephants at the WG Tank

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Nisali Wijesinghe
Vancouver, Canada

My three weeks volunteering with SLWCS has been a truly humbling experience. The volunteer program, stays on the main focus of conservation and the projects done here try to bring in practical solutions to the HEC. The field assistants and staff are highly knowledgeable about the local ecology and conversations with them can be enlightening.

Apart from the conservation work, the days spent at the field house is a unique way to experience the Sri Lankan way of life. After an afternoon spent by the tank watching elephants, coming back to a glorious sunset by the hills is a perfect way to wind down a day of work.

01. Nisali Wijesinghe

Rebuilding a house damaged by an elephant

02. Nisali Wijesinghe
03. Nisali Wijesinghe

Digging holes to plant orange trees

04. Nisali Wijesinghe

Beehive fence maintenance

Sophia Kranemann

I don’t know where to start, but one is for sure. I really enjoyed and appreciated my two weeks in Wasgamuwa. So I was a total of six weeks here in Sri Lanka and the last two of them I spent with the SLWCS in the elephants project.

This was a very nice closure for my exciting journey. Why did I choose this adventure? I wanted to gather new experiences and get to know another side of life, but I especially wanted to help out the community. All my expectations came true and I really appreciate the different activities and exercises. For example the housebuilding, pugmark survey, camera trapping and planting the orange trees. Besides that I liked the daily tree hut sessions. However the best was of course the feeling of actually helping people and the animals.

02. Sophia Kranemann

In search of illusive ghosts in the forests

01. Sophia Kranemann
03. Sophia Kranemann

Searching for pugmarks

04. 01. Sophia Kranemann

Clearing the rubble from a house damaged by an elephant

05. Sophia Kranemann

Building a new wall

06. Sophia Kranemann

Elephant observations

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A herd with several young calfs

Photo Credits:

Anjuli Swift/SLWCS
Akila Weerakoon/SLWCS
Rashika Ranasinghe/SLWCS
Chandima Fernando/SLWCS
Ravi Corea/SLWCS
Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society

Big, rumbling thanks to our Corporate Partners for their kind support and to everyone who has donated and supported our wildlife conservation efforts!

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