A 10-DAY-OLD BOY ELEPHANT stole the spotlight at this year’s National Thai Elephant Day, marked by the traditional blessing of the elephants by Buddhist monks.
Nong Sam – 85 kg in weight and standing 84 cm and measuring 129 cm from forehead to tail – was born at the Elephant Camp at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort outside Chiang Rai. Nong Sam was born at 11.15am to 45- year old Boon Jan, her fifth son. Elephants normally give birth in the night.
He was nicknamed by his mahout (elephant carer), as is tradition, meaning “three” in Thai and alluding to his birth date on the third day of the third month. Being a Garieng elephant, Nong Sam will choose his own formal name at the age of three in a special ceremony involving bits of paper wrapped around sugarcane.
According to John Roberts, Anantara Resorts’ director of elephants, Nong Sam was the fourth elephant born at the Elephant Camp and the seventh baby raised there.
“The Elephant Camp was set up in 2003 to improve the plight of Thailand’s elephants, and has since been diversified to include welfare projects that incorporate broader philanthropic and cultural objectives with unprecedented success. Since 2006 the camp has operated under the auspices of the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF).”
National Thai Elephant Day takes place every year on March 13. The aim of the day is to draw attention to the elephant which is the national animal of Thailand and plays an important part in culture, religion and tradition.
A week-long celebration at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort kicked off with more than 60 children and novice monks from local orphanages and schools. They were invited to the resort to learn about the importance of elephant conservation and affording them a rare opportunity to meet the elephants up close and personal. Festivities included an exclusive elephant parade painting workshop and a charity brunch to benefit GTAEF.
Guests can visit Nong Sam at the resort in his new elephant nursery sponsored by Citibank. To follow Nong Sam’s progress on social media, visit Anantara Resorts on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/anantara or on Twitter Anantara_Hotels John Roberts’ Elephant Trails blog http://elephant-tails.anantara.com/