This Thailand Hotel Is Offering Free Virtual Field Trips so Students Can See Elephants up Close

schoolchildren on a virtual field trip viewing elephants

Virtual museums, livestreams, and events are certainly a good way for parents to keep their kids engaged during lockdown. Especially if that engagement involves a real elephant.

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Thailand has launched a complimentary service for school children who may be isolated at this time, featuring elephants in a personal call, live from their natural habitat in the jungle.

The resort is famous for its elephant sanctuary, which was set up to "help street begging elephants and others that could not help themselves," according to a statement from the resort. So far, the camp has rescued over 60 elephants, 23 of which now live in the jungle environment of the resort along with their entire families. Through the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF), the resort has been keeping travelers entertained and informed through twice-daily livestreams during the COVID-19 pandemic.

elephant with handlers

Parents can now book a video call that allows their kids to virtually participate in a jungle field trip of unique and once-in-a-lifetime elephant experiences that encourage emotional connection with the animals. During the call, children are introduced to their elephant companions and can ask the GTAEF's elephant experts questions. Then, either a camp veterinarian or biologist will offer insights and facts about these elephants while the pachyderms roam freely in the background. Children can then observe the elephants in their natural habitat.

"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," said John Roberts, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas' Group Director of Sustainability & Conservation. "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."

These complimentary field trips must take place during Thailand daylight hours. To reserve a live virtual field trip spot, parents can contact John Roberts via email at [email protected] or telephone 66 53 784 084.

For more information about Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, visit the resort's website.

Andrea Romano is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @theandrearomano.

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