Elephants are Thailand’s royal animal and a big part of country’s culture. You can experience these gentle giants on a luxury vacation, but before you get up-close-and-personal in their natural habitats, check out these little-known facts from the comfort of home!

10 Little-known Facts About Elephants

Elephants in their natural habitat

Distant cousins

African and Asian elephants are actually two very different species! Although they look similar, research shows that Asian elephants are only as genetically similar to African elephants as they are to the extinct wooly mammoth.

Personal cooling system

Elephants’ large, thin ears contain an extensive network of blood vessels that help regulate its temperature. Blood circulates through their ears to cool them down in hot climates.

Poor time management

Elephants usually sleep just two to four hours a day, but can spend more than 16 hours a day eating! They typically feed on grasses, but tree bark, roots, leaves and small stems are eaten as well. Cultivated crops like bananas, rice and sugarcane are also favourites.

No fun in the sun

Elephants can get sunburned. In spite of being an inch thick, an elephant’s skin is sensitive to the sun, so they protect it by using their trunks to throw sand on their backs and heads.

Elephant bath time


No junk in these trunks

With relatively tiny eyes and a huge trunk, it’s no wonder that elephants have poor eyesight but an amazing sense of smell. Elephants can smell water up to 12 miles away, and the trunk helps compensate for poor eyesight by being able to sense the size, shape and temperature of objects.

Big but not brave?

Elephants are scared of bees, mice and ants.

The better to hear you with

Elephants use their feet to listen and can pick up sub-sonic rumblings through ground vibrations that travel through their front feet, up the leg and shoulder bones and into the middle ear. By comparing the timing of signals received by each of its front feet, the elephant can determine the sound’s direction.

Not so sporty

Did you know that the elephant is the only mammal that can’t jump?

Elephant buffet at Anantara Elephant Polo

Elephants love fruit!

Better than a Swiss army knife

Tusks are an elephant’s incisor teeth, but these impressive choppers aren’t for eating! Tusks are the ultimate multi-purpose tool, used for defense, digging for water and lifting things. Just as people are either right- or left-handed, elephants have a dominant and non-dominant tusk.

Six on one, half-a-dozen on the other

Elephants have six toes. The sixth toe starts off as cartilage attached to the big toe at birth, but converts to bone as the elephant ages.

Support these cool creatures in the most beautiful way by checking out the Elephant Parade®! The world’s largest art exhibition of elephant statues—decorated by local and international artists, celebrities and designers—is coming to Bangkok from December through February.


Also Anantara Vacation Club is supporting Elephant Parade Bangkok and invites everyone to visit the exhibition and find our cute elephant called Phanda, painted by artist Pongsuang Note aka ‪DudeSweet. Can you guess how it looks like?

Come check out the Elephant Parade® in Bangkok with a stay at Club Resort at Anantara Bangkok Sathorn, or get up close with these gentle giants and learn more about The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation at Club Escapes at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort.

Preview a few of the elephant statues here and let us know which one’s your favourite on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Weibo.

About Anantara Vacation Club Editorial Team

Anantara Vacation Club, launched in 2010, is an exclusive collection of luxurious Vacation Ownership resorts and suites, offering each generation the opportunity to explore the world’s most exciting destinations. Owners can purchase Club Points that determine the length of stay, time of year and the size and type of accommodation. Visit: anantaravacationclub.com Contact us: info@anantaraclub.com

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