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Worcester GP to take leap he will never forget in aid of Thai elephants
11:54am Monday 9th June 2014 in News
A GP from Peopleton with a fear of heights has prescribed himself the ultimate challenge of leaping from a plane to raise money for Thai elephants.
Felix Blaine, who works at the Spring Gardens Health Centre in Worcester, is set to battle his biggest fear on June 22 when he takes part in a sky dive.
The 41-year-old will be raising money for his own charity, Mahouts, which he and his family, wife Sarah, son Joe and daughter Natasha, from Peopleton, set up to help rescue working elephants in Thailand after spending a week at the Boon Lott's Elephant sanctuary, known as BLES, in the northern part of the country.
Since they first got involved in 2009 the sanctuary has come a long way and the elephants have a chain free existence during the day.
But at night they are currently on very long chains at night due to the risk of wandering onto neighbouring farmland.
Dr Blaine hopes to raise £1,500 that will go towards changing that and he is already nearly there having secured more than £1,000 of sponsorship.
He said: "We fully support the initiative of chain free corrals and the message being sent across Asia, Elephant Aid International founder Carol Buckley is changing the way captive Elephants are managed with her 'chain free means pain free' campaign.
"By introducing the corrals to BLES this sends a strong message within Thailand that there is an alternative to Elephants being chained for much of their lives.
"The night time habitats will enable them to be free in their chosen social groups all night.
"Sarah is out in Thailand at the moment trying to work on lots of different projects to help the elephants.
"There is such terrible problems out there, we need to show people there is an alternative and educate tourists as to the cruelty behind the tours they take part in."
And the challenge is just that for Dr Blaine, who has a severe case of vertigo.
"I am trying not to think about it," he said. "I think I will be absolutely terrified on the day. I have always hated heights and I am hoping it will be OK on the day.
"It's sort of the point I think if you want people to sponsor you it has to be a challenge."
The sky dive is set to take place at at airfield in Swindon on Sunday, June 22.
To support Dr Blaine visit justgiving.com/Felix-Blaine and for more information on Mahouts visit mahouts.org.
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