Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort has introduced a complimentary service for school children in lockdown that stars elephants in a personal call live from their natural habitat in Northern Thailand’s ancient jungle. During the video call, children around the world can virtually participate in a jungle field trip of unique and once-in-a-lifetime elephant experiences, including the resort’s Walking With Giants signature experience that provides an optimum way of getting to know the elephants and develop a deeper emotional connection with them.
The community initiative follows the success of the luxury resort at the confluence of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar, and the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation’s (GTAEF) twice-daily livestreams of rescued elephants enjoying their walks in the jungle and taking a mud bath in the Ruak River, that garnered more than five million views since the start of the global pandemic. The resort is world famous for its elephant camp that, along with the GTAEF, were set up in 2003 primarily to help street begging elephants and others that could not help themselves. To date over 60 elephants have been rescued from Thailand’s city streets and other aggravating circumstances, of which 23 now live in the jungle environment of the resort along with their entire mahout (carer) families.
During the livestream, children are introduced to their three-ton video call companions and have ample time to ask questions about the pachyderms to the GTAEF’s elephant experts. Then, championing the natural joy of the herd of elephants’ daily free-roaming time, accompanied by the mahouts and either a veterinarian or biologist, the livestream offers insights from scientific experts about how these intelligent creatures think and behave. Walking out to the forest unveils river and wild nature scenery and, falling in pace with the slow, steady rhythm, the children can observe the elephants’ social interaction in their native habitat. Each virtual fieldtrip is customized to meet the needs and curriculum of the students.
Commenting on the virtual jungle field trips for children who are confined or isolated by lockdown restrictions in their countries, Mr John Roberts, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas’ Group Director of Sustainability & Conservation, said that school children from Thailand to Melbourne to Colorado have gathered in front of monitors with handcrafted binoculars and paper-mâché elephant ears to watch the three-ton gentle giants lumber through the jungle. “Whilst this entertaining and educational experience is a temporary virtual substitute for educational institutions’ learning through exposure to nature and nature-based activities, it is the escapism and the enthusiasm that it affords young minds – some often trapped in challenging and confusing circumstances – that make it all worthwhile. Distant learning can indeed be fun and inspiring and, who knows, we may have a few newly qualified elephant veterinarians come knocking on our jungle door in ten to fifteen years’ time,” Roberts concluded.
The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation can coordinate complimentary virtual field trips with elephants for online school classes that take place during Thailand daylight hours. For more information or to reserve a live virtual fieldtrip spot, contact Mr John Roberts, Anantara’s Group Director of Sustainability & Conservation, on email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +66 53 784 084.