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#ExperiencesNotStuff: Holiday Gift Idea #2 of 12

Holiday Gift Idea #2 oF 12

ANIMAL CONSERVATION

Some of our kids’ favorite travel experiences are involving animals, whether it’s out on safari in #SouthAfrica,

Watching lion on safari at Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa

Watching lion on safari at Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa…didn’t even notice the giraffe photo bomb.

or swimming with #whalesharks in #Mexico

or even something as simple as feeding birds at the park

Feeding pigeons, St. Mark's Square, Venice, Italy

Seamus feeding pigeons, St. Mark’s Square, Venice, Italy

they love animals. Sadly, many of the animals they love so dearly are also vulnerable or endangered species. So, one of their favorite things to do is to volunteer at a wildlife conservation center. They got the chance to do this in Costa Rica years ago:

Proyecto Asis, Costa Rica

Cleaning cages and making a new friend, Proyecto Asis, Costa Rica

But one of their all-time favorites was helping care for injured and elderly elephants in Thailand. They’ve been to Elephant’s World twice now and they love planting trees, picking food and making rice balls (for the elderly elephants who have lost their teeth) and, of course, feeding and bathing the elephants.

Nathan in the river during elephant bath time, Elephant's World, Thailand

Nathan in the river during elephant bath time, Elephant’s World, Thailand

Although we love to travel, you don’t have to go halfway around the world to have these experiences. We are not huge zoo fans (would much rather see an animal in the wild), but realize many people can’t always venture out to see elephants and other large animals and many zoos are now offering animal trainer experiences or behind the scenes experiences that make fun holiday gifts for children.

TIPS:
– Research the company with whom you are considering purchasing a wildlife experience.
Are they conservation focused?
Do the animals come first?
What are the conditions like for the animals?
Is there any riding or other behaviors that may hurt or disturb the animal?

Happy Holidays from our family to yours! Look for the next holiday gift idea for the kids tomorrow. And remember, #ExperiencesNotStuff!

 



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