A Tender-Touch Tribute: Anantara Golden Triangle Celebrates Thailand’s Gentle Giants with Therapeutic Elephant Massage

In the lush embrace of the northern Thai jungle, Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, in partnership with Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF), is trumpeting the arrival of Thai National Elephant Day on 13 March. This year’s festivities promise an unforgettable tribute to these majestic creatures, with a jumbo celebration that includes medical massages, a fruit feast fit for a king, craft market and cultural ceremonies that resonate with the spirit of Thailand.


Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort has been a sanctuary for 20 elephants rescued from the urban sprawl and illegal logging camps. Alongside GTAEF, they provide a haven not just for these gentle giants, but also for their mahouts and families, ensuring a future where tradition and care go hand in trunk.


On 13 March, guests and locals are invited to inaugurate the festivities with a sacred elephant blessing ceremony in the spirit house. Following their indulgence in therapeutic massage performed by elephant osteopath Tony Nevin, the elephants will be treated to a lavish fruit buffet. Over at the craft market, teeming with pachyderm-inspired artistry, guests can enrol in a Sa paper workshop. The day will culminate in a poignant environmental activity, where guests will join hands in cleaning up the grassland and riverbank, a habitat shared with GTAEF’s elephant friends. A stark reminder of the plastic plight affecting wildlife, plastic remnants found in elephant dung by the mahouts on a daily basis underscore the significance of this conservation effort.


At the heart of this year’s celebration is the pioneering ‘elephant osteopathy’ session by Tony Nevin, a celebrated wildlife osteopath who has blazed a trail in applying osteopathic techniques to alleviate musculoskeletal ailments in wild and exotic animals. Tony’s UK-based Zoo Ost veterinary clinic collaborates with Veterinary Surgeons to extend healing hands across species, boasting over three decades of experience. His innovative approach to animal osteopathy has led to the establishment of workshops and courses, including the clinical component of the inaugural MSc in Animal Osteopathy in the UK and Europe.


“Osteopathic treatment can be a boon to any creature experiencing discomfort in their body’s normal functioning. And it can be beneficial to animals of all ages, from new-borns to the elderly, across all species – because nobody is immune to musculoskeletal woes,” shared Tony.


Arnaud Béril, General Manager of Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, reflected, “This annual event is a heartfelt gesture from our community to the elephants, Thailand’s cherished national symbol. It’s a day to elevate awareness about elephant preservation and conservation. We’re honoured to have Tony with us, offering his expertise to ensure our elephants receive world-class care.”