In honour of World Elephant Day, 137 Pillars Hotels and Resorts announced a partnership with Elephant Nature Park, a rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary for elephants in Chiang Mai.
137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts in Thailand and the Elephant Nature Park (ENP) in Chiang Mai have partnered to raise funds and global awareness for elephant conservation and reforestation in Thailand. This initiative, stemming from a spiritual and meaningful connection established by Anne Arrowsmith, the Corporate General Manager of 137 Pillars, showcases the significance of elephants in Thai culture and aims to protect them. The collaboration started on August 12, 2021, and involves inviting guests at the 137 Pillars hotels to make donations to the ENP, which primarily focuses on elephant conservation, alongside contributing to reforestation projects.
Elephant Nature Park
The ENP serves as a sanctuary and rehabilitation center for elephants, rescuing and providing a home for distressed elephants from across Thailand. Founded in 1996 by Ms. Sangduen Chailert (K. Lek), the ENP offers an authentic and nurturing environment for elephants and several other animals, with volunteers and visitors actively contributing to the well-being of these animals. The park is also involved in various projects across Thailand and other countries, and has planted over 100,000 trees to restore the ecological balance in the Mae Taeng forest area. Moreover, the ENP plays a crucial role in preserving local culture and educating visitors about the importance of conserving endangered species.
Elephants in Thai culture
Elephants hold a special place in Thai culture, symbolizing strength, loyalty, and intelligence. The white elephant, which is more pinkish in colour, represents royalty and is intertwined with Buddhist traditions. However, the population of elephants, particularly the Asian species, has dwindled significantly over the years, with only about 30,000 left worldwide, and around 3,000-4,000 in Thailand. This partnership between 137 Pillars and ENP seeks to reverse this trend, encouraging guests to contribute to the cause and learn more about these magnificent creatures and the efforts to protect them. The initiative is also a way to amend the historical misuse of elephants in logging activities, a practice once conducted by the company that previously operated in the location of 137 Pillars House.