Not only do wildlife volunteers in Zimbabwe get to spend time with these remarkable elephants, through feeding, cleaning, training and observation, but recently, they have surpassed themselves for the cause of research too.
A researcher needed to collect data for the process of ageing an elephant. In order to do this, they need to use an elephants’ molars. Normally, researchers have to rely on collecting this information from dead elephants skulls.
However, at the Elephant and Rhino Sanctuary, each of the elephants allowed the researcher to do exactly what she wanted. She had access to all nooks and crannies both from the top jaw and bottom. The cameras were right inside the elephant’s mouth. One of the cameras was nearly lost to one of the 3 year old elephants, as he thought it would be fun to swallow it. Thankfully, it was rescued in time, although totally slobbered upon!
African Elephant Sculpture
Another recent request to help out, where you wouldn’t expect it, was for a perfect sculpture of an African elephant. Mac, one of the elephants at the Sanctuary, allowed himself to be measured from top to bottom, and, of course, from each and every angle, without hesitation, just with perfect trust. It was a special moment, and there was a feeling of huge pride.
If you would like to surround yourself and live in very close contact with these awesome elephants, here is the opportunity to form special relationships with them and become part of the herd, as well as walking beside the endangered black rhino in a safe environment.
Not only will you be able to work up close with the stunning Rhino and Elephants, volunteers also enjoy opportunities to explore the African Bush on elephant and horse back, as well as sleeping out in the bush under the stars – an amazing experience!
For anyone needing to do research for Zoology/Conservation degrees or considering a future working with wildlife, this is a fantastic opportunity – with close-up viewing of animal behaviour and the ability to observe unique ecosystems in rivers, lakes and plains.