The framework for all six chain-free corrals at the Kasara hattisar is in place.
Support and brace posts are concreted. Gateposts mark the entrance to each new corral.
Eyeing the progress of this project, my heart pounds. Here it comes, that joyfully intoxicating feeling cursing through my veins.
My eyes transport the image to my heart. My heart responds, sending a warm glow through my body, filling my eyes with tears. My heart swells with the promise of a better life for these elephants.
In this moment I stand in my personal space of pure peace. I caress it. Breathe it in deeply. I don’t attempt to own it, only experience it, knowing the feeling is a gift meant to be experienced not possessed.
Some people meditate, others run, cycle or climb mountains to connect to that place within where they feel most themselves, most centered, most peaceful.
This is the place of autonomy and personal freedom.
Such activity can literally become an addiction, in the best sense of the word.
Watching the chain-free corrals come to life before my eyes is my addiction. Knowing that my actions help reduce the suffering of captive-held elephants brings me great joy! It is heart work, soul fulfilling work. My meditation.
At times the joy is overwhelming and I just have to cry. Seeing elephants gain even a semblance of autonomy moves me to do more. Knowing that we are able to help bring some peace and freedom to their lives drives me.
I may never know any of these elephants personally. But that is not the point of my work. I am not here to expand my elephant family. I am here to better the lives of these elephant.
They know we are helping them. That is good enough for me.
The next step is to string the wire between support posts and hand-build the topes (post protectors).
Each corral is one full acre in size. It is equipped with six strands of wire equaling nearly one mile of wire per corral.
Ditches will be dug to bury the wires that enable each corral to operate independently.
Last, the steel box that contains and protects the energizer and batteries will be installed and wired to the solar panel that powers the system.
A perfect vantage point
From the open-air raised platform that I have claimed for my new office, I survey the work site. What a gift to witness this miracle unfolding right before my eyes.
A humble thanks to Kamal Kunwar, Chitwan National Park chief conservation officer, the entire hattisar staff, our IBEX fence crew and all of you who have contributed to this worthwhile project.
Together we are improving elephant welfare, showing due respect to these wise, kind and self-aware beings who grace our planet and our lives.