A Travellerspoint blog

River Swims, Parties and BBQ's at the Safari

semi-overcast 39 °C

It is now Songkran in Thailand. It is a new years festival where to celebrate the Thai people have big water fights. It lasts from the 13th to the 17th.

For the last week or more Chelsea has been feeding the giraffes and zebras in the morning at 7.30am while everyone else does the morning monkey feed and clean. Lung Noi is the giraffe keeper and Sanapong is the zebra keeper. They are both very kind and smile throughout the whole feed. You can tell that they both take pride in their jobs and don’t mind sharing it with us. They enjoy watching us have a nice time like proud parents and they hand out the buckets of feed to tip into the feeding bowls. It is really sweet. On Thursday after the giraffe and the zebras were fed Sanapong asked if we wanted to go feed the deer on the safari. Obviously Chelsea said yes. He loaded his motorbike side car up with bags of feed and then drove Chelsea and the new volunteer into the safari. The deer were already waiting by their feeding troughs and he drove straight through them so they were surrounded by loads of deer. You have to wade through them to fill up their troughs but they are really timid and move out of the way. It is a lovely peaceful and fun morning feeding the giraffe, deer and zebra.

After Chelsea spent the morning cleaning the common room as we had several new volunteers arriving on Thursday and Liam did some computer work. Everyone had lunch down at the cub area and both Mocha and Latte were there today. As Mr Tip ,Mochas keeper was on holiday he could not go into town to be chained to the table. It was amazing to see them playing together again and it is the first time since we came back that we have seen them together. They really enjoy each others company.

After lunch we decided to see the crocodile show. Lots of people complain about the show because of its brutality but not many volunteers have ever been to check it out. The show is really bad. Basically crocodiles are shown in an arena with a slippery wet, tiled floor in the centre to make sure the crocodiles can’t walk properly to retaliate. The Thai keepers then repeatedly poke them with bamboo sticks until they snap at them as well as putting body parts in the crocs mouths. At the end tourists can pose with photos with the crocodiles. The staff recognised us and tried to persuade us to have a photo but we politely declined for both safety and moral reasons. After we caught the last ten minutes of the elephant show and Chelsea got a lift back to our house with a mahout on one of the elephants, a medium sized male with big tusks while Liam drove next to us on the bike. Being so close to an elephant is amazing. You sit directly on their back and as they walk you sway from side to side trying to stay on. Their skin is so thick and heavy and they have really course hairs that are spikey. They are beautiful and riding on them is beautiful and scary at the same time. For our evening meal we decided to have a fire by the river with the new volunteers and we had some food on the fire, chicken and vegetable kebabs.

Friday Chelsea took a new person to the giraffes and the bear was right up to the gate. It is amazing. It is absolutely massive and has a big fluffy head. You can go right up to it and touch it through the mesh. Its fur is course and its eyes are really small. It sniffed us through the bars and the bear keeper gave us a carrot so we could feed it. It is unbelievable how close up it was.


Liam built a temporary enclosure for the jungle cat. The boss has been given a wild jungle cat as a present and it was in a tiny bird cage. We saw it a few days ago and asked for responsibility of it so we can get it healthy and then release it into the wild. Liam and Adam built a small cage for it to go in until we build something in the jungle for it. At lunch time we took the new volunteers on the safari bus. It is still really fun, it never gets old. The lions were really close this time and as always the giraffes were amazing.


They put their heads in the bus and ate all the bananas before we had even realised. It is such a great experience we will never understand why they need to have animals chained up to attract people. The giraffes alone are enough as it is totally unique and fun.


In the afternoon Liam went finishing with Adam in the jungle. Chelsea was on cub duty all day. In the morning she walked Latte, the leopard cub down from her night enclosure to the front and spent all day with Latte and Tat. It was really nice and she even managed to get some paw prints from Latte to sell and raise money for their new enclosure. She sold two prints to a family. Latte was really cute and cuddly all day. Normally she is a bit of a feisty kitten and wants to play and bite but she was cuddling up on Chelsea’s knee and being stroked and played with. Chelsea was happy she got to spend some time with one of her babies.

On Friday night we decided to have a party. We went to the local shop and almost bought all their booze and had a good night talking and laughing. We had the fire lit and we stayed up way too late but it was really fun.

Saturday was really hard after Friday night. It had already being decided that Saturday was a day of relaxing which is a good job as we were both really hung over. Chelsea took someone new the giraffes and the bear was up close again. We went over to see it again, it is amazing no matter how many times we see it. We both had a nap after all the cleaning and feeding was done and met up for lunch at the cub area. Chelsea went in for a little play and cuddle with Latte and then all the volunteers went to the elephant show. We want to change the shows as it doesn’t promote a very good image. The manager has agreed and has said if we all could go and give our ideas of how to make it more interesting and ethical. We want to get rid of the dancing and posing, the hoola-hoops and bowing and call it ‘meet out elephants’. Rather than a show, people can ask questions and have photos and feed them and then it is not demeaning to the elephants. The man on the speaker narrating the show spotted us and introduced ‘Mr Liam from England’ to the entire crowd. He then asked Liam to volunteer for every different part of the show. He got dragged up to lay on the ground while elephants walked over him and it was truly terrifying but everyone found it hilarious.

In the afternoon we went down to the cub area and the boss asked us to watch his relatives dog. It was a massive golden lab puppy so we were obviously delighted to babysit it. We spent the afternoon playing with the puppy. It was a great way to get rid of your hangover. Tea was horrible, cabbage with lumps of fatty pork belly inside so we went to the shop in the evening and bought some supplies and finished off with an early night.

Chelsea took someone new to the giraffes, zebra and deer again and the bear was out again yesterday. Chelsea got to feed it what she thought was bear food but then she asked to see the packet and it was actually a chocolate crispy roll. No wonder the bear waits at the gate everyday looking cute. For the rest of the day Chelsea made a display board for our adopt an animal scheme. In the afternoon she left it with another volunteer to finish as Tat asked her if she could help with some tourists who had booked onto one of our programmes. We were meant to make enrichment activities for the monkeys but they didn’t show up. Instead she watched buddy being fed, our little owl chick. Sunday is the first day we have put him in his big cage so he can fly around. He jumped in but was a little scared and kept crawling under Ned’s legs. After a while he went on and explored and flew up to Chelsea’s shoulder and sat their looking at her for a while. When he is a little bigger we plan on releasing him into the wild. He has grown a lot so it shouldn’t be too long now. Liam spent his entire day building a run for the dogs. At night time they chase bikes and bark at people so we need to keep them close. We have built the dog pen several times but they keep escaping so Liam and Adam set to work making it into a little doggie prison. They worked on it all day and were totally knackered at the end of the day but it is nearly finished. Liam was upset yesterday as they have put a permanent chain on Tat, the tiger cub. She is not chained up to anything, it is like a collar. We don’t like it and it looks horrible but apparently it needs to be on for safety reasons as she is so big now, for something to grab if she tries to bite. She still looks like a baby to us so it is horrible to see her with it on.

Today Chelsea fed giraffes, zebras and deer again with a new volunteer again and Liam fed and cleaned monkeys with the rest of the team. After breakfast Liam and Adam finished the dog pen and then set to work on an enclosure in the jungle for the wild jungle cat. It is only a tiny kitten but they plan to keep it in a caged area of the jungle and then when it is a bit bigger release it into the jungle. They did a really good job and it is almost finished. It is just missing one side and a roof to be done tomorrow. At lunch we ate our lunch in the jungle near the river and Liam and Adam decided to go for a swim.


There is a beautiful tree hanging over the water that some of the volunteers want to build a tree house in and host camping trips at. Chelsea re-did her adoption display board as it got too dirty yesterday to use. It looks nice now though and she has made a bamboo frame. In the evening we all went down to the camping spot and had a little party. We decided to go early and have a swim. The boys had spent the day making a tyre swing so we played in the swing and then went for a swim. The water is so warm and nice.


Getting out of the water is a bit of a task though as you have to climb back up the tree. We spent the evening by the fire cooking and eating food. We had jacket potatoes, grilled chicken, ribs, corn, bbq fish and veg skewers. We invited Toy, Blues keeper and her children Mink and Arm who come to our school and Joe and his wife came, as well as Mr Tip, Mochas keeper. It was really nice and we had food and drinks next to the river. We left at around 9.30 and went into the village for a few beers. On the way we were stopped by a group in the middle of a water fight and we got drenched but it was good fun. After a few beers the lady wanted to close her shop so we came home.

Posted by Chelsandliam 06:23 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand volunteering kanchanaburi Comments (3)

Adoption Packs, Cassowaries and Sunsets at the Safari

sunny 46 °C

Over the last three days we have been working hard to get the adopt an animal scheme up and running. We still have some work to do but we almost finished and we think we have done a really good job.

We started Monday morning, we came into the nice air conditioned office away from everyone to try and do as much as we possibly could. Chelsea finished the individual animal profiles, they look great and contain two pictures of the particular animal and a paragraph explaining their personality and what the adoption money would be spent on. Liam carried on with the species bio’s that have taken so long to complete. He has tried to keep it interesting as well as factual and has scoured the web to find the information needed. Everytime he thought he got close to finishing Chelsea would remind him of an animal he had forgotten.

In the afternoon we had a break from the adoption stuff, one of the newer volunteers here currently, Talei, is a zookeeper from Australia and is an expert on cassowaries. We have one cassowary, Digs, who is forgotton about more or less so we decided to get together as a team and Talei led us to make enrichment for him. Our idea was to make a mobile to hang from one of the trees in his enclosure, we made a cross shape and from each ended dangled something that cassowaries like. We had mango’s (freshly picked from the tree ourselves), banana’s and some tin foil wrapped around rocks and a coconut to act as a shiny object. When we were all finished we went down to fit them. Talei wanted to go in the enclosure with him to get to know what he is like, plus we needed to put the enrichment in. She asked if anyone would like to go in also, and although a like hesitant as cassowaries are dangerous and can do serious damage with a dagger like talon in their feet Liam volunteered. Armed with brooms in case he approached we entered. Digs was incredibly calm, he is used to people as they walk past him all day, he just stayed away and watched what we were up to. We hung the mobile, changed and cleaned his water bowl and also made him a mud bath as they really like water and mud. We then got out and left him to it. It took seconds for him to ignore all the mobiles and head straight to the fresh water. He took a few drinks and as the water bowl is just about big enough jumped in and sat down in it. It was really good to see, his water does not get changed that often by the Thai staff. We stayed and watched him play in the water and mud for a while and then left to sort out the evening monkey feed. When we came back the mobiles still had not been touched and Digs was still sat in the water. In the evening Chelsea did not feel well so we went back to our room really early, Chelsea just went straight to sleep and Liam carried on working on the now hated animal bios.


Tuesday we were back to working on the adoption packs. We asked for the whole day to try and get it finished and up and running before the end of the week. We went and worked in the office again, partly because it is quiet and we can think but mostly due to the air conditioning. It took all morning but Liam finally finished the species bios. Now the research is done and it is typed up he has sent it to Chelsea to pretty up. Chelsea spent the morning but a folder together with all the animal profiles, making an application form for adoptees and writing up all the prices and information on what you get in your pack. This took us up to lunch time so we had a little break and went back to see Digs and make him more mud to play in.
After lunch we came out of the office and back to the common room. Our next tasks were making a parenting board so we can hang all the names of the adoptees and also design a newsletter. Chelsea really wanted to make the board and Liam was happy to let her so we set to. As always Chelsea has done an amazing job, she has cut a piece of MDF around 3 square feet and painted white. She has then made a border using bamboo she has cut in half length ways. She then created a sign using some really nice barked wood and hung it with string in the middle. It looks great and it cost us next to nothing to make. Liam was equally as successful with his newsletter; he simply used a word template. He decided to actually complete the newsletter properly as if he was sending out so that everyone can see what he has in mind. He wrote a story about our fundraising, copied another from our website about the gibbons moving in together and added some little news snippets. It also has an introductory welcome section and finishes with information about our website and facebook accounts. Chelsea had the idea of having a photo of the month as we have so many great photos so Liam in cooperated that too. We are both happy with what we have done we really hope that people actually adopt and it works.

In the evening we fancied a change so some of us went to the river behind our apartments, we took a beer and watched the sunset. It is incredible driving the bike down to the river, red dusty track surrounded either side by rice fields with the sun setting over the mountains in the distance. After that we decided to go to Bo Phloi for pizza, as a change to the rice, and spent a couple of hours there before coming back and having a few more beers in the nearby village. We bought water pistols as soon it is Songkran and we tested them out on the local kids. It was good fun but we may have had one to may beers by the end of the night…


Today has been slow, mainly due to lack of sleep and hangovers. Liam put the finishing touches to the newsletter and sent it to the team to see what they think. We then planned tonight’s English lesson. It is the first one we have planned since we got back and Chelsea has decided to teach insects and bugs and then play a version of snakes and ladders with the kids. Liam has got photos of England and some US and English money as requested by the adults. The afternoon was a mixed bag. We sat with the cubs for a while and dealt with the tourist influx we get every afternoon, apart from one trying to sit on Blue the tiger and another daggling there small child over Tat’s enclosure it was Ok. One of the volunteers here is a film maker and is making a film of us all. Her idea is we all stand with an item relevant to something we are working on or do at the park and talk about it for two minutes. Liam really hates being filmed but we did ours together and talked about the adopt an animal work we have being doing. It was not as bad as Liam thought it would be, although Chelsea did most of the talking.

Our English lessons went down really well in the evening, the kids loved playing snakes and ladders and kept putting their counters back to the start as soon as the game ended. The adults were really interested in the pictures Liam bought and we spoke about England, US and Adam spoke about Australia and Czech. Their English is really improving and they pick a lot up and get a lot of practise just through having normal conversation.

Posted by Chelsandliam 21:22 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand volunteering kanchanaburi Comments (3)

Parties, Relaxing and a little work, at the Safari.

sunny 46 °C

It is fair to say that the time off we have taken from the safari has come at the right time. Chelsea was really down after the day with Latte yesterday. We did not do much on Thursday, we did not even leave our guesthouse until the evening. We had a late breakfast and lounged in and around the pool. The heat has really increased over the last week or so, so it was impossible to lay in the direct sun for too long. The rains will start soon and we are hoping that might cool it down a bit. We spent the afternoon drinking a couple of beers and fruit shakes and reading our books, swimming and talking – we know it does not take for great reading but we are really starting to love our pool days. We chatted to some other guests and didn’t leave the pool area until around 5pm. Pong Phen guest house has a lovely atmosphere, really friendly and laid back. When we were finally ready to leave we went out for dinner and tried a restaurant that had been recommended to us for a good steak. Having not had steak since we left Liam was very eager and wolfed it down. Chelsea just can’t say no to pizza at the minute and had another. We washed our meal down with a beer and then went back to our room to and sat on our porch finishing off the whiskey we bought the day before and listened to some music.

Friday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD) was the day we were due back at the safari and the main event of the day was the party we were hosting in the evening. We made the most of our last lay in and checked out. We had a slow morning and got every last second of pool time before setting off to Tesco to get some supplies. It was by far the hottest day we have had so far. Driving through the streets of hot air on the bike was unbearable, and it only got worse when we stopped at traffic lights and sat baking for a couple of minutes. We decided that there was no need to rush around Tesco and made the most of the air conditioning. It took us a while anyway to find what we needed, we got some potatoes to cook in the campfire (complete with campfire beans and tuna filling) and some ham, cheese and tomatoes to make toasties over the fire and even marsh mallows and chocolate sauce for desert. Then we hesitantly made our way back to the bike and hoped the cheese would make it all the way back without melting. The drive from Kanchanaburi is around 40 minutes, and is really boring, it is basically two arrow straight roads. The most amazing thing about the journey on Friday was that gritters were out on the road. Obviously not because it was ice or snow but because it was so hot the tarmac was melting…….

We got back to the safari at around 3pm, our shopping had mainly survived the trip and apart from a desperate need for a drink so had we. We then set too with the party preparations. Outside of rooms we now have a really nice seating area, shaded with a big tree. Chelsea decided to decorate the tree and has made some mobiles out of sticks, rocks string and paint, Liam got the fun job of climbing the tree to put them up. By the time the rest of the group were back from their daily duties we had finished and just had the food to do. Whilst everyone was getting ready for the party a few people went to the local shop to get whiskey and beer and we skyped Chelsea’s dad has it was his birthday. The party seemed to go down really well, all the food was eaten and we drank all our whiskey, only this time we were using small buckets rather than cups as someone had seen them in the shop. The only problem we had with this was you had to be careful not to leave it unattended on the ground or you would find a puppy or dog drinking out of it. For us our last hangover is too much of a recent memory so we took it steady (ish) and called it a night around 1am.

Saturday was a rare treat as the whole team got the day off to relax in the jungle that sits behind the safari park. After the morning feed and clean we all went into the jungle on our bikes. The jungle is really amazing and you don’t need to go very far to feel like you are in a completely different place. We picked a spot next a river where a large old tree overhangs and you can sit on the branches of the tree literally over the water. The team decided to build a tree house so a couple of people set too that. We on the other hand took the literal meaning of a day off, Chelsea relaxed, talking to people, watching the treehouse get built and reading Whilst Liam borrowed a reel and rod off Adam and went fishing all day in the river. Needless to say he caught absolutely nothing. Adam managed to catch a small eel like fish but that is it. When he pulled it out we realised it was poisonous so then he had the horrific and distressing job of smashing its head in with a big rock. It was really grim and he decidd to give up fihing for the day after that. Liam blames the bait. We spent the whole day down there, we ate lunch and dinner and got some beers and it was really great for the whole team to chill out. We are hoping to make it a regular thing, plus Liam really wants to catch a fish. In the evening it got really dark and we made up a fire, the fireflies came out and were flying across the river it was amazing. We finally decided to call it a day when the mosquitos came out in force and we were getting eaten alive.


Sunday was back to work though, although nothing too strenuous. The morning clean was the same and then we went to the office to continue work on our adopt an animal idea that we are hoping will raise some money. We are trying to do a really good job so it is taking some time. We need to create individual animal profiles, species bio’s, certificates, an email newsletter and other things that will go into an adoption pack. We are hoping to finish soon so we can get it live before we leave. In the afternoon we had a meeting with a new volunteer who arrived yesterday and has experience in marketing. The aim is to try and ‘rebrand’ the park to get a better reputation, more customers and in the end more money to allow us to fund the much needed projects. The highlight of today though was that we got to hold the macaws. Liam has been saying he wants to do it since we arrived and today we got the chance. They are really heavy and we had one on each arm and another on our shoulders. Chelsea was a little freaked out, especially when they started to peck her hair. Liam was OK until one tried to eat the plug in his hear. It was fun though.


Posted by Chelsandliam 22:14 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand volunteering kanchanaburi Comments (4)

Ups and downs at the safari

Why you should never pose for a photo with a wild, chained animal.

sunny 43 °C

Monday was extremely hot. We both cleaned out the monkeys and had breakfast and then the whole team set to work on a run for the dogs. We now have seven dogs and at night they get really protective and chase motorbikes. We are scared as often they have children on them and it scares all our neighbours so we have decided to make them a pen to put them in at night. This has being ongoing for a few days but was unfinished so we all set on it to finish it in one day. We got really close until the electrics in both extensions broke so we had to stop. In the afternoon Chelsea went down the the cages to do the usual seed scatter. Usually Tat and Ned do it but they were both busy. She fed all the monkeys there seeds, got trouble, our langur monkey a new tree to eat and made sure all the water bowls were still full. King Kong likes to stand under the hose and have a shower. Chelsea has never done it and it was really lovely. He stood under the hose and drank loads of water and then sat underneath, changing sides at one point for a shower until he got fed up. We then worked on our adopt an animal scheme, making profiles for each animal and their personalities. Monday night we had an English lesson. Danni prepared a lesson on music so we taught the words of some instruments and they made some shakers out of toilet rolls, coloured paper and seeds. The kids really enjoyed it and we all played out instruments, a harmonica, drums, shakers and whistles.

Yesterday was a nice day. In the morning Liam look our new volunteer, Brandon on cubs. We only have Tat the tiger cub down there at the minute but he really enjoyed it. Liam taught him how to feed and go into the enclosure. Liam has a beautiful relationship with Tat. He is only one of a couple of people who can pick her up and he goes into her enclosure with ease and she is totally comfortable. Brandon thoroughly enjoyed it and was really enthusiastic and confident with Tat. Chelsea went into the Jungle in the morning with the rest of the team. The safari is surrounded by jungle and rivers that's all connected with a trail for the boy scouts. It is really beautiful and we were on the look out for nice big logs for Coffee, the adult male leopard we are next upgrading and for any fruits we can research to feed the monkeys. It was a lovely morning, walking on the trails, crossing the rivers on rope bridges and talking. We have found a beautiful tree that over hangs the water that would make an amazing tree house so we are thinking it would be a good place to come and have time off to relax. In the afternoon Liam went onto sourcing logs for Coffees new enclosure and Chelsea went on cubs with Brandon. After Liam had done he came back down to cubs and we all sat in her enclosure. She is quite big now so a lot of people are nervous to go in with her but she is adorable. If she stalks you or tries to bite all you have to do is tell her off and she backs off and cuffs at you.

Toy, the tiger keeper has been having some personal problems so as well as cub sitting today Liam was left in charge of Blue, the full grown male tiger for a few hours. Everything was fine for a few hours until he gave him some water. Normally you give him a bowl and when he is finished you take it off him but he became really possessive about the bowl and would not give it back. He was rawing and snarling at Liam and it was scary.

At night we had a few beers around our fire pit and had some laughs and talked. It was a nice end to a nice day.

Today Liam has being sourcing more logs for Coffees enclosure. They are extremely heavy so it took a lot of people and effort to cut, drag and load them on the pickup. In the afternoon he managed to finish the storm shelter for King Kong we started so hopefully that will be in soon.

Today Chelsea has been in Kanchanaburi town all day. We have decided that one volunteer needs to be down near the bridge over the river Kwai as they have been taking Mocha the baby leopard cub down there for people to pay to feed him. Two days ago they started taking Latte instead and she was totally distressed and would not eat anything all day or settle or stop crying. Yesterday Danni and Talei went with her but today Chelsea went. They basically chain her to a table all day in town and insensitive tourists pay to have a photo with her or feed her. Chelsea absolutely loves the leopard cubs as she has raised them since the first day they were put under our responsibility so she found it really hard to watch or be involved in this in any way. Danni and Talei had complained that it was boring in town so we decided to share out the responsibility but Chelsea just found it really sad. Tourists seem to forget about the chain and how morally wrong it is when they see the beauty of the cub. At every opportunity Chelsea got she was talking to tourists, telling them about the volunteers and explaining about Latte. She was really upset and shocked about how little some people care. Some people just want that photo with a baby cub, they don't care about the implications of there actions. Only a handful of people asked about how wrong it was and Chelsea managed to sell one print of Lattes paw to raise money for her enclosure and one man has promised to come on our big cat day programme. Standing at the bridge all day explaining how wrong it is to have a photo with the baby is extremely hard. Telling people you work with the people who do this is even harder though.

If Latte and Mocha stays chained to the table they will be there, their whole lives until they get sick enough to take them off. Not only is it distressing and morally wrong but it means there muscle tone won't develop properly and they won't be able to walk easily when they are older. They will be kept on milk so tourists can feed them and they will be lacking in vitamins and they will be deprived of a normal free life, playing and running aroound in the safari. The more people who pay for a photo the more money it makes and the longer they will be chained up as money makers.

When Chelsea got back to the safari she was really down about the whole day. She spent most of the day calming and stroking Latte and making sure she was being looked after correctly. We have got the next two days off so packed straight away and left. We skipped the evening monkey feed, came straight into town, and have gone to Pong Phen, the gorgeous guesthouse with the pool we have stayed at before. We went to our favurite Italian and had a really good meal and a beer and had some drinks on our balcony. Hopefully Chelsea will be able to stay away from Latte at the bridge on our day off tomorrow, attacking tourists who want to encourage her being down there.

Posted by Chelsandliam 08:23 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand volunteering kanchanaburi Comments (3)

A Weekend with the Big Cats at the Safari

sunny 45 °C

As Adam and Danni have taken a couple of days off from the Safari Park we have been given the responsibilty of the big cats. We are very happy with this, not only because we like the variation of different tasks but also the big cats are our favorite thing to do as it involves looking after the cubs.

Our days start slightly differently to the ususal monkey feed. We need to pick up the meat from the stores to feed to the cats enclosed near the monkeys. This includes Fang, Nala, and Coffee the leopards and Toast our Asiatic golden cat. All them eat chicken carcasses as well as been given small amounts of beef or pork that we hide multi vitamins in and other medication. You can hand feed these small amounts through the bars and it is really cool to see the giant cat take the meat from your hand. Our only hiccups yesterday were Fang not wanting to get in his back cage, and a partian door between Fang and Nala being broken down by Nala. Ever since Liam and Adam built the climbing rig in Fangs enclosure the last time we were here he has been able to reach a platform high up that he never could due to his illness. Now he can get up there he can be quite hard to coax down but after a while we won that little battle. As for the partian door, that was slightly more alarming. There are several sliding doors on the enlcosures that lock the animals in the holding cages whilst we clean them. There are others that help seperate and segregate the animals when needed, it was one of these that seperated Fang and Nala that Nala managed to ram completely out of the sliders and flatten to the floor so she could get to Fang. It took a while for us to seperate them again and lock them between different doors whilst Liam got in and put the door back on its runners, we will have to see how long it holds. There now needs to be two doors seperating Nala from us, just in case......

When we had done we went to collect Tat the tiger cub for what we had been looking forward to, walking her down to her day enlcosure. She is so much easier than she used to be and she pratically ran the whole way, meaning we needed to run to keep up. It is really too hot to be running. Sometimes though she would give us a rest and walk and even stop but it would not be long until we would be off again, Tat chasing the rustic bottle toy we have made for her to chase. We got more or less all the way until she saw a hose pipe and decided that was more interesting and set to chewing it. It is really hard work prizing something from the jaws of a tiger if they don't want to let go, especially without getting bit in return. Liam tried for a while wrestling with her and flicking her nose but she was having none of it. Eventually Toi the lady who looks after Blue came to help and we managed to get her off, there is just a rather large leak in the hose pipe now.


The rest of the day we just sat with the cubs, it was really nice, Chelsea took more responsibility of Latte the leopard and Liam did Tat but we both helped each other out and took turns with the feeds. Latte is a crazy kitten, she loves to play and can jump well over a metre. Chelsea managed to get a little cuddle from her though with no bottle sat on her knee which she was iver the moon with as she is not a cuddley cat. Tat has mellowed a lot, she really likes play and likes be around people. She is not as afraid as she used to be and it boisterous and stunning looking. They are not as easy as last time we we were here, they are so big and fast and you can not go in the enclosure safely without some kind of distraction, like food or a stick or toy for them to bite rather than you. Luckily we got through the day unscathed. Whilst watiching the cubs we started work on our fundrasing idea for the park and in particular the big cat enlcosue. We are thinking of setting up a 'Adaopt an Animal' scheme like most zoos where customers will be able to adopt there favorite and it will go towards, toys, food and new enclosures. We have just started writing personal profiles for the animals and species fact sheets.

In the evening Chelsea was not overly fond of the dinner on offer so we had a trip into the real world and visited Tesco in the town of Bo Phloi, for her to get somehting. On the way we stumbled across a place selling pizza so obvioulsy Chelsea wanted to go there. It was a small place making homemade pizzas, the staff spoke very little english and Chelsea said she would have anything but ham and pineapple and agreed on chicken as that is the only english owrd the lady knew. Of course she then got an ham and pineapple pizza. Liam ate all the chunks of pineapple. We sat there with a beer talking on our own and it was nice to get away for an hour or so. We then carried on to Tesco to get some supplies we neeeded before heading back.

Today has been less eventful. The clean up this morning ran smoothly and Nala didn't break anymore of her enclosure. The leopards all have different personalities, Fang is really grumpy and does not like anyone been too close,especially Liam and will growl constantly. Nala is friendly and will sometimes come up to the bars and rub against for attention. She did so this morning and Liam spent a while just stroking her through the cage. Coffee is the craziest of them, he is so playful and will run around the cage following you. We really enjoy working with them, and we prefer them to the monkeys.


Tats walk was a real treat again, she was even faster than yesterday, We got all the way and nothing was chewed. She came close to giving Liam a nasty bite on the leg when we first let her out of night enclosure but thankfully we were a little faster than her and managed to scruff her and get out of the way before any real damage could be done. Today we had Mocha the leopard rather than Latte, they have swapped them for a reason we are not too sure of. Mocha has not been in the bigger day enclosure for a while and was going crazy running around and jumping. He was not even bothered about feeding at first he was so excited. Although he is so big now and more of a leopard he stills likes to have his belly rubbed, and Chelsea loves doing it every chance she gets. He lays upside down on her knee while she strokes his belly. It is adorable. Another milestone of today, Liam got his first ever chuff from Blue, the big adult tiger. It was awesome and he repeated it when Liam mimicked the chuff back. It is really good to see that Blue still has something in him after so long chained to the table.


This evening we have done nothing.Chelsea skyped her family but it has been too hot. At one point today it was apparently 49 degrees. It certainly felt it and there is no let up in the evening. Danni and Adam are now back so it is back to the monkeys for us tomorrow. It is a shame because we really love the big cats. We are going to ask if we can do it more often whilst we are here.

Posted by Chelsandliam 01:16 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand volunteering kanchanaburi Comments (2)

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