One of the foundations we support, Love Wildlife promotes the conservation of local wildlife and marine life through several education programs. This includes promoting conservation in a hands-on way, to empower and inspire people to play a more active role in protecting the environment.
One popular program includes ChomWhales, which takes participants to Petchburi, out into the Gulf of Thailand to see Bryde’s (pronounced ‘bruda’) Whales in their natural habitat. These majestic 15-metre long creatures live in the waters off Samut Songkhram and Petchburi provinces year round, but they flock to the northern gulf to feed on an abundance of anchovies during the rainy season.
Experiencing a close encounter with the whales in their natural environment requires a day trip, with a 1 to 1.5 hour drive from Bangkok to the gulf and a 4 to 5 hour leisurely boat ride through open waters. As Bryde’s Whales are endangered, there are only 50 or so left in the area; however, the chances of spotting them are good. Staff on the boat also focus on conservation and research, collecting data on the whales’ behavior during the trips.
The first sighting is nothing short of thrilling! Often, the whales graze the surface of the water for a second or two, taking in air before submerging again. If you are lucky, a curious whale may swim right up to your boat. You may also see whales rising gracefully out of the water with their mouths agape to capture fish, showing off their pink underbellies.
ChomWhales runs their touring season from September to early December. This is the best months see the whales as the waters are most calm during that time. The fee to join the trip helps fund Love Wildlife Foundation‘s main programs: the Slow Loris Conservation and the Marine Conservation Program, which includes monitoring dolphins in captivity.
You can also support Love Wildlife by shopping at local businesses like Enginou, which collects micro-donations on behalf of the foundation at their three branches: The Commons, Tops Marketplace Nanglinchee, and Mega Bangna. Every bit counts!