Viewing elephants… from the comfort of home
Anantara Resorts, Thailand
Anantara Resorts is enabling school children to have a grand trunk experience from afar.
The company’s 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 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 developing a deeper emotional connection with them.
During the livestream, children are introduced to their three-ton video call companions and have ample time to ask the GTAEF’s elephant experts questions about the pachyderms. 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 field trip is customized to meet the needs and curriculum of the students.
John Roberts, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas’ group director of sustainability & conservation, said that school children around the world 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 10 to 15 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 field trip spot, contact Roberts at [email protected].