Millions of schoolchildren around the world are currently on lockdown and the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort has launched a delightful and innovative service which brings elephants from the jungle of North Thailand and young people together – virtually.

The elephants in Chiang Rai will “make” video calls to children and take them on a jungle field trip with the aim of helping them to get to know these wonderful Asian pachyderms and develop an emotional connection with them. The service is entirely complimentary and can be either arranged for individual children or small class bubbles.

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During their livestream call, children are introduced to their new three-ton friends and can also ask questions to a member of the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation – a charity set up to rescue elephants in Thailand. Launched in 2003, the GTAEF has rescued over 60 elephants and currently 23 of them live with their mahouts (carers) close to the Anantara Resort.

John Roberts with elephants

Since lockdown, the GTAEF has twice-daily livestreamed their elephants walking through the jungle and even bathing in the Ruak River. This window into the lives of these gentle giants has garnered over 5 million views.

Commenting on the virtual jungle field trips for children John Roberts, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas’ Group Director of Sustainability & Conservation, said that schoolchildren 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.

Varun Sharma with elephant and tea

“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.

For more information or to reserve a live virtual fieldtrip spot, contact John on:  jroberts@anantara.com