Meghan Barnes, a graduate of Denham Springs High School and LSU animal science major, spent July 10-27 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with Loop Abroad, learning about proper care for dogs, cats and elephants.

Loop Abroad is a program for students in high school and college to gain hands-on experience with animal treatments in a global environment.

In her first week with the program, Barnes observed Asian elephants in the Elephant Nature Park, a reserve for elephants that have been rescued from abusive situations or saved from injury. She was able to shadow veterinarians as they cared for 63 elephants.

“We got to treat the elephants’ feet. The main problem over there is that a lot of them get caught in land mines,” Barnes said.

During her second week, Barnes observed and helped perform surgical operations on cats and dogs at an animal shelter.

“You can’t beat experience like that. Just doing book work, you’re not going to learn as much,” Barnes said.

To learn more about Loop Abroad, go to loopabroad.com.