Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas has appointed
John Roberts, who has been Director of Elephants at Anantara
Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Thailand since 2003, as
its Worldwide Conservation Director.
Combining his academic
background in science and engineering with his interest in the
natural world, Roberts spent many years travelling the globe in
search of conservation volunteer roles.
From fighting fires and
making trails in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park in the
desert of West Texas, his knowledge of fires was put to good use
in the remote parks of Northern Australia. At Tiger Tops Jungle
Lodge in Chitwan National Park, Nepal he helped with the
International Trust for Nature Conservation's tiger research and
other projects. Hearing of a new elephant camp being set up at a
luxury resort in Thailandís lush jungle, Roberts was drawn to
the resortís ambition of creating unforgettable adventures for guests, as
well as becoming a role model for elephant welfare and helping all
of Thailandís elephants.
Set up in 2003 as a traditional mahout village,
Anantara Golden Triangleís Elephant Camp works alongside
Anantaraís Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF) to
perform street rescues, provide ongoing employment and a comfortable lifestyle for each elephant and its entire mahout
family, as well as to participate in bigger picture projects.
Fully self sufficient, the camp now supports more than 25
elephants and 60 people. All elephants receive the utmost care, while the mahout and his family receive food, housing, medical
insurance, schooling for their children, and 100% of the profits
from a traditional silk weaving business.
In addition to
managing the Elephant Camp, GTAEF and research conducted by Think
Elephants International, in his new worldwide conservation role,
Robertsí expertise and enthusiasm will benefit all Anantara
properties, as well as guests.
Continuing to work closely
with scientists and universities, both foreign and Thai, Roberts
will ensure that conservation initiatives produce viable
scientific data. These insider relationships will enable him to
identify and develop projects which Anantara properties can become
involved with, and where appropriate be incorporated into unique
Robertsí skills in minimising
environmental damage will play a role in developing new Anantara
properties. He will also draw on his impressive knowledge of
scientific conservation trends and technologies to recommend best
sustainable practices and assist with Green Globe certification.
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