07, Aug, 2020

January Volunteers Share Their Experiences at SLWCS

“I volunteered with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society, and during the time I was there I felt incredibly at home and supported by the wonderful local team. The amount of brilliant work they are doing is truly awe inspiring and you really get to see and experience how it impacts the local community and wildlife, I couldn’t recommend this highly enough to anyone looking to really connect with the community and with a passion for the natural world. Incredible experience.” Elizabeth (Bessie) Hyman, U.K.

IMG 1337


Research Scientist

January 27th 2020


Team 1: Helena, Abhi, and Sanela

Morning was spent on pug mark surveying, we observed several
jungle cat prints near the paddy fields of Eke Ela.

Afternoon All volunteers went to do Elephant observations at Weheragala but no elephants.

83259398 553677228559544 2685654852758929408 n
83184635 496589744608630 619293387404607488 n
82382165 1044053979281880 4641621373544824832 n
82894756 170890330888088 4135619941984370688 n



My experience at SLWCS was wonderful. I learned a lot about the conservation efforts of the organization. I was surprised at how much good work being done by them. They have really put so much into helping the community and the elephants to live in harmony. I would love to see this program grow to include the entire country of Sri Lanka. I enjoyed learning about how to identify certain native wildcats based on their paw prints with the pug mark research and to see how the eating habits of elephants is observed through dung analysis. It was always special to get to visit the home of one of the villagers or farmers, to see how they live and how they are trying to keep the elephants at bay to stay safe. They were always so kind, offering us tea and snacks after our work.

Rosemary Kimble 03
Rosemary Kimble 01
Rosemary Kimble 02
Rosemary Kimble 04
Rosemary Kimble 05

I was especially impressed by the EleFriendly Bus project and
riding on the bus with the children was one of my favorite things. They are all
so sweet and happy.

It was very special to see the wild elephants foraging and I
feel very blessed for every time I got to see them because it does not happen
at every observation.

My only complaint are the times we did work in the mid morning to clear land because it was very hot and I thought we should have done it during the early morning. Thank you so much for the opportunity to work with your organization and for all that I learned about elephant and wildlife conservation through you. Your work is super important and I am honored that I got to be a part of it.

IMG 1938
IMG 6501
IMG 6617
IMG 6660

January 28th 2020


Team 1: Abhi, Helena, Sanela, Awana and Maria

Morning activity was a very productive POE session. We visited 5
farms with a lot of plants at Medakanda . We cleared weeds around more than 150
plants. Most were in great condition and healthy.


All volunteers

We observed one very little elephant calf near Madupitiya area. It was a very unusual observation. We did not hear any sign of the adult elephants nearby. This calf suddenly appeared and then ran in to the forest. According to Asi and Sarath recently an elephant calf had been caught by the DWC vets to remove a snare. It seems like the herd is not accepting the calf after it had been treated.

83245197 563844870878280 6869863772647849984 n
83496427 639331886826104 3461493312702119936 n
83509612 157504055671419 7797551535780528128 n
83687226 561576231232903 1566692580819730432 n
83674274 1870276789769143 6959386980043980800 n
IMG 6955

Ge (Scott) Wendi

Overall, I am very satisfied with this volunteer project. I have
spent a pleasant week here with all the other volunteers and local workers.
People are all warm-hearted and always willing to help. Also, I have learned a
lot in this week about elephants protection and some local culture. Food here
is quite special for a Chinese. So much curry and pepper as well as plenty of
black tea do add so much fun to living here.

The condition are very basic, but scenery views make all worth.
Take a cup of black tea, hold a cat sleeping on my lap and sit on a chair right
under a roof. When it is rainy, just listen to the sound of raindrops landing
on the roof or leaves and gaze at the distant hill though the rain. When the
rain stops, even the water in the lake is blue. When it is a sunny day, wind
comes from the distant hill, crinkles the water in the lake, sweeps over kinds
of grass and rest on the branch under the roof and on my shoulders next to my

Volunteer work here very satisfying, and I am sure that what I did will actually help those elephants and I believe that the accumulation of these tiny stuff will make a big difference. I really hope to spend more time here and I do recommend this wild elephants protection project to some of my friends who intend to do some volunteer work.

IMG 7031

January 29th 2020


Team 1: Abhi, Helena, Sanela, Awana and Maria.

We did a community project. We helped to make a new hut for the
meditating monks in the Karu forest. We managed to complete the building with
the help of villagers. Volunteers were very happy because they made new friends
and worked together to achieve the target. Volunteers were really happy about


All volunteers We observed one elephant on the way from the morning activity. It was a huge male elephant chilling near the Weheragala forest area. We observed it for more than 15 minutes. We observed 2 male elephants during the evening observation at the Weheragala Tank. They were playing in the water. Fishermen chased them away after a while. It was a nice evening of observing elephants.

81977542 577171832838535 3356782396572696576 n
83552258 477479659867624 3641531482687668224 n
83558543 164847088149360 1196007959390322688 n
83661813 816922242066650 8198338406166560768 n
83140214 174610970442132 4241515495993376768 n
81536105 200266201128737 8722991467649302528 n
IMG 9243
IMG 9226
IMG 9272



I had the feeling to really help peoples and by the way helping
elephants. The experience in the field house was unique. I never lived like
that before and I even don’t knew that I could do it.

I learned about wildlife, Sri Lanka, and also myself, I met some
volunteers who became my friends.

I am really thankful and I will remember all my life of this 3 weeks. The only thing I regret is to don’t speak Cinghalese and that the local village people who work with us most doesn’t speak English… It would be nice to communicate with them. Sri Lanka is a wonderful country and population are always smiling and waving; it’s a beautiful lesson for us people from occidental country.

IMG 1672
Adele Marchegay 01
IMG 1559
Adele Marchegay 04
Adele Marchegay 03

January 30th 2020


Team 1: Abhi, Helena, Sanela, Awana and Maria

This morning we did Camera trapping in the Karu Forest. We
changed camera trap batteries, SD cards and checked the photos. There were a
lot of nice captures including several of wild cats.

We set up our sand traps since they were all messed up due to
the recent rains.


Team 1: Abby, , Helena, Sanela, Awana and Maria We did not record any elephants at Madupitiya area.

83264706 1045469019155772 2106328433851105280 n
83418396 179545609998608 5782716054341943296 n

January 31st 2020


Team 1: Abhi, , Helena, Sanela, Awana and Maria

We did fence monitoring at Guruwela Yaya fence near the Mahaweli
River. We observed lot of elephant activities near the fence.

Afternoon Abhi, Helena, Maria & Awana left on their weekend trips to Trincomalee & Pasikuda.

IMG 1561
IMG 1535
IMG 1531
IMG 1555
IMG 1567
IMG 6858

(Bessie) Hyman


I came to volunteer at the SLWCS for 3 weeks with no idea of the human elephant conflict in Sri Lanka and was amazed not only by the huge issues that people and elephants face but also by the amount of successful work the organization is doing to combat this. We spent some time with the local kids who come once a week and they told us about the Ele Bus which really shows that the project is tackling the root of the issues, the chance to work with and meet the local people and help them with initiatives like the orange trees was an eye opening experience, and really helped us feel connected to the community. In the afternoons the elephant monitoring provided was a much appreciated treat and watching the elephants and their baby’s in their natural habitat is truly breathtaking, and reminded me why I’m here . From weeding to fence monitoring you really get a feeling that you are doing something productive and meaningful. The teams are wonderful, and there is always something to laugh about or a game of carom to be lost. I immediately felt at home in the field house and it was always fun to be around the other volunteers. The food is delicious and the trips in to town help supplement this. They are also incredibly helpful helping to organize weekend trips and when I was ill they drove me to the doctors helping me feel at ease here. I will miss being here and hope one day to come back and see how the current projects are coming along, and what new ideas they are implementing.

Bessie Hyman 03
Bessie Hyman 04
Bessie Hyman 05
Bessie 07

Source: SLWCS Newsletter

Copyright © Blog - Columbus Tours (Pvt) Ltd 2019. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy