This project came about, as the sequel to the ‘Elephant: Social Interaction’ project. In the same manner it challenges the socio-cultural relationship of elephants in the present context of Thai culture.
The project completes the intervention set out by the social interaction programme by starting at the very beginning of the cycle. Young mahouts aged 13-15 are paired with new born elephants in groups to establish a strong population base for the future.
The new design replaces the existing elephant nursery at the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC) in Lampang. Thus; increased play area for baby elephants, clearly demarcate visitors and mahouts access area to elephant enclosures to ensure appropriate contact point and safety. There is a large mud pool for elephants to play and bath in. The enclosures are separated by gabion walls, dirt berms and concrete piles; which are arranged in such a way that the physical manifestation of a boundary is soften and disappears. This improve captivity conditions to be better integrated with nature, taking inspiration from trees network in deep forest
There are little huts for mahouts to rest in. Via the introduction of a natural trail, visitors can view the little elephants from various points of the facility without disturbing them. At the top of the trail, there is an observation area overlooking the playground and the overall vista.
This project completes the social interaction programme by ensuring a strong population base of young mahouts and elephants for the future. Which will prevent future elephants torture. As well as delivering living environment that is more akin to their natural habitat for little baby elephants to grow up in.