Hidden among dense jungle, tucked in the northeast corner of Cambodia, an Englishman has created a home and a sanctuary for some of the country’s used and abused elephants.
Take a road less traveled – indeed one that was only completed a couple of years ago – from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri and Jack Highwood, the manager of the Elephant Valley Project, will introduce you to his charges, involve you in his passion and invite you to help with his daily chores.
For eyes wearied by the hot orange dusted landscape of the plains, arrival in the mountainous Mondulkiri countryside is a lush green relief. Perched on a high ridge, the Elephant Valley Project lodge has a splendid view of the province’s gorgeous jungle. The glorious view is accompanied by a raucous soundtrack – the thick jungle is full of wildlife that fills the air with its whirs, squeals and hums.
In 650 hectares of rented forest, Highwood and his team look after 12 elephants that had been overworked and abused in the tourism, agriculture and logging industries. The elephants were brought to the sanctuary and simply allowed to be elephants again.
Source: Anna Brown, The Phnom Penh Post
Rescued elephants walk through the dense jungle of Mondulkiri province. Photograph: Mike Hodgkinson