Elephants Lead Idyllic Life in Golden Triangle
Meet Yuki, an elephant living in the lush tropical forest next to Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Thailand, thanks in part to the Asian Elephant Foundation.
Her name was Yuki, and, at one point in her life, she was a big star in Japanese TV commercials. She also worked as a bar girl in a Thai tourist joint, performing nightly in their cabaret until she got too big and had to find other employment. That’s when Yuki was “rescued” by the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, a charitable organisation. And that’s why she was carrying me through the jungle on my trial run as a “mahout,” or elephant trainer.
Frankly, she trained me more than the other way around. She knew the track, where to turn and where the tastiest bits of greenery were growing. In three hours, my companions and I had ascended the jungle peak, took in the panorama of the Triangle—where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet—and returned.
Getting to know the elephants is but one of the highlights at Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle; the very reassuring news is that all of the elephants (and their mahouts) there have been rescued from terrible conditions in big cities. They live in the 160 acres of tropical forest next to Four Seasons and lead idyllic lives with veterinary care, ample supplies of bananas and sugar cane and a lot of affection from visitors.
My journey with Yuki ended in the bathing pond, where she and the other elephants enjoyed spraying everyone with trunks of water. As intelligent and massive as they are, elephants are also vulnerable, and it’s a rare privilege to be able to contribute to their well-being.