A day with the pachyderms

lifestyle April 26, 2017 16:36

By The Nation

7,919 Viewed

Travellers spending their holidays in Chiang Mai can now get up close and cosy with an elephant, thanks to the Akyra Manor boutique hotel’s new Elephant Day Care package priced at Bt3,900 per person.

“We wanted to introduce an alternative to the elephant trekking tours normally offered in Thailand and to raise awareness of the need to protect and respect these wonderful creatures. The Friends of the Asian Elephant hospital treats every type of elephant – from calves to senior-adults, bulls and cows and we are delighted to be doing something practical to raise awareness of their work and the challenges they help elephants to overcome,” says Anchalika Kijkanakorn, founder and managing director of Akaryn Hotel Group.

The tour starts at a hospital for elephants operated by the FAE that provides hospital inpatient treatments, outpatients, and mobile veterinary services. 

The FAE hospital has treated 794 inpatients and 1,058 outpatients over the last 24 years, and the average treatment rate breaks down to approximately 206 cases per year. This year alone, the hospital has already treated 47 cases. 

 “At FAE hospital, it’s easy to see how Mosha the elephant and this special place captured my father’s and my hearts 10 years ago and inspired the Elephant Parade. Under Soraida Salwala and the veterinary team, the hospital carries out pioneering work and has treated more than 4,600 sick and injured elephants,” says Mike Spits, Founder of Elephant Parade.

The day out continues with a visit the Elephant Parade Land that is home to the world’s largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues in aid of elephant conservation. Visitors can inspect the production studio and learn how acclaimed artists create elaborately decorated elephant statues. 

They can also wander through the vibrant elephant statue garden filled with colourful life-size baby elephant statues painted by artists, brands and celebrities. The Elephant Parade Land also houses a museum, fun fact wall and elephant library with an attached movie room showing short films that highlight the importance of elephant conservation. 

In June this year, Akyra Manor Chiang Mai will add its support to the project with a fundraising event and the installation of a colourful elephant parade statue on the terrace of the hotel’s popular Rise rooftop bar.

“We look forward to welcoming people to Elephant Parade Land – and the opportunity for them to visit both destinations in a single day will give them a fuller picture of the authentic Elephant Parade story. Together we can raise awareness of the conservation issues the elephant faces and invest in the future of the elephant through the charity projects we support,” Spits adds.

The Elephant Day Care Package runs from 8am to 4pm. Find out more at www.TheAkyra.com/chiang-mai or email rsvn.akmc@theakyra.com.