June Volunteers wrap up the month with their experiences

Shelby Cooper 03

“I’ve learnt an invaluable amount about conservation & wildlife in such a short period of time.” Shelby Cooper, New Zealand

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Nate Bills

The location for the project is awesome! You are so close to the national park and the villages where you can see elephants. Everyone working at the field house is so nice and they make it a good atmosphere when you are working or relaxing in between activities. The cooking from Mahinda is the best I had on my trip.

We were really lucky seeing elephants every day, especially at the park where we saw heaps in one afternoon and even saw one of the two bulls with tusks.

Ravi answered any questions I had before I arrived and Chinthaka and Chat were great with the organization of getting us there and planning all the activities. It was quiet when I was there but I would still definitely recommend it as the experience was incredible and I can imagine it would only be better with a lot of volunteers to share it with.

Nate Bills 05
Nate Bills 03
Shelby Cooper 02
Nate Bills 02
Nate Bills 04
Shelby Cooper 01

Activities Shelby & Nate did during a week

Monday, June 24th 2019 – Arrival and settling in. Orientation: Introduction to SLWCS, staff, community, projects and programs.

Tuesday, June 25th 2019

Morning – Dung transacts – Weheragala Tank (Lake). Observed marked dung plots for second week.

Afternoon – Observed one male elephant named Dilshan near the Weheragala Tank.

Nate Shelby 01
Nate Shelby 02
Elephant WG 03

Wednesday, June 26th 2019

Morning – Pug mark survey, Akkara Kala paddy fields and stream.

Afternoon – One elephant was observed near the Weheragala Village electric fence trying to break the fence. A destroyed papaya garden was observed by the volunteers near the electric fence.

Nate Shelby 04

Pug mark survey

Nate Shelby 03

Taking measurements of pug marks

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The elephant lurking by the electric fence to break in

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Propping up the broken fence post.

Thursday, June 27th 2019

Morning – Electric fence monitoring – Guruwelayaya. Elephant activities were observed near the fence.

Afternoon – visited the national park. Observed a total of 80 elephants in 4 herds.

Nate Shelby 05

Electric fence monitoring and helping with maintenance

Elephant WNP 01
Elephant WNP 02

Friday, June 28th 2019

Morning – Checking camera traps in Karu Forest.

Afternoon – Two elephants were recorded from the Tree Hut.

Nate Shelby 07
Elephant WG 04

Shelby Cooper
New Zealand

Kia Ora* & thanks so much for having me for this past week – I’ve learnt an invaluable amount about conservation & wildlife in such a short period of time. All the staff here are so much fun and I’ve enjoyed every moment with you even if I have no idea what most of you are saying most of the time.

I hope to be able to convince many more New Zealanders to choose to volunteer with your project!

Special mention about Mahinda’s cooking – as it’s the best food I’ve had whilst being in Sri Lanka for this past month.

All the best & I hope to see you guys again in the future – 1 week was too short!

*Kia Ora is a Māori-language greeting which translates literally as “have life”, “be well”, or “be healthy”, and is also used as an informal greeting equivalent to “hi” or “hello”.

Shelby Cooper 02
Shelby Cooper 04

Setting up a remote camera trap

Nate Shelby 06

Electric fence monitoring

Elephant WG 05
Elephant WG 01

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

Photo Credits:

Chathuranga Dharmarathne/SLWCS

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