Elephants – Why they seem to be everyone’s favourite!
I had a meeting recently with the owner of Tings, a very chic, off the grid boutique hotel group with places both in Kathmandu and one on its way in Lisbon. The conversation, (as it so often does in Nepal) went onto elephants and why we seem to have this instant love for them.
Thomas made the point that it is because we have all grown up with elephants, I looked at him puzzled. Other than the current Chairman of Tiger Tops, Kristjan Edwards who was given an elephant as a 3rd birthday present I don’t know anyone who has truly grown up with elephants! But this got me thinking, are elephants really present with us from an early age and if so, what do they teach us?
Well let’s start with Elmer, the patchwork multi-coloured elephant that is the star of a hugely popular young children’s book series started in 1968. The books address the concept of diversity and explain that no matter what colour you are (or multiple colours you are) that you are loved because of these differences, and not in spite of them. A fairly hefty concept for children but presented in a very digestible way. This theme of inclusivity/diversity is also championed by another elephant, the sweet Dumbo. In this case, it is not the colour of the elephant that is the problem but his ridiculously large ears! Again, he learns that his differences make him special and that being different is not always a bad thing.
Thomas then went on to explain that the elephants shown in many of our most loved children’s movies, televisions shows and even books are always “the good guys”. Normally slightly dim witted but always very loyal such as Tantor from Tarzan and Rudyard Kipling’s Colonel Hathi.
These characters plant a friendly, long lasting reassuring image in our minds from a young age that we then take forward as we grow. We feel like we have known these creatures for all our life without ever having meeting them, we see them as a childhood friend. That is why here at Tiger Tops we take great pleasure in introducing our guests to their favourite childhood characters. We don’t have Colonel Hathi or Dumbo, but we do have the active Sandra Kali, the powerful Hira Kali, the tuffty headed Saraswoti Kali and nine others each with their own personalities and characters.
So, come and meet them in person at the Tiger Tops Elephant Camp and create some life long memories from once in a life time experiences with our elephants.