CHIANG RAI – It’s a Boy the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation welcomed and debut its newest addition to its “staff” and the world!
Nicknamed Nong Sam (Thai for “three” since he was born on the third day of the third month), the healthy baby boy was estimated to weigh in at a hefty 187 lbs (85 kg), on the larger end of the normal range of 70-100 kgs for newborns.
Though elephants typically give birth during the night, Sam was born at approximately 11:15 AM and within a few hours was walking about and attempting to nurse (it took him a few tries to get it right). Like most ungulates, a baby elephant is called a calf and Sam will probably continue to nurse from his mother for another 2-3 years, though in the wild some calves aren’t weaned until age 5.
At a week old, Sam is still a little shaky on his feet and hasn’t quite mastered stepping over, rather than on, his own trunk. His control improves every day, and by the end of the first month he should be able to pick up and hold objects with his tiny trunk. He won’t be able to use it to hold water, however, until a few months down the road.
Meanwhile at the Camp a week of celebrations began when more than 60 school children and novice monks were invited to the resort to meet the furry tike and his mother and to learn more about the importance of Thailand’s national animal and its role in culture, religion, and tradition.
Festivities ended on March 15 with an elephant parade and painting workshop and a charity brunch to benefit the resort’s partner and keeper of the pachyderms, the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation.
Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Chiang Rai, is a superb setting on a sylvan hillside above the Mekong River, an hour north of Chiang Rai, is not the only reason to love this 77-room hotel. The accommodations, all with balconies, have teak floors and are decorated with northern Thai objects and textiles.
The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation was set up primarily to help elephants that cannot help themselves, those that find themselves through abuse or through circumstance unable to provide and maintain an income for themselves, their mahouts and their families.
In an ideal world all elephants would be wild and there would be no need to discuss elephants’ work, until we reach that point the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation also aims to give and promote ethical work for those elephants and mahouts who are able.