A herd of elephants in Santa Claus costumes brought gifts of face masks and hand sanitiser to primary school students in central Thailand on Christmas Eve (December 24).
“I got a balloon, face masks and alcohol gel from the elephants. I’m so excited because an event like this only happens once a year, and I think my school is the only place with elephant Santas,” said Beyapha Mhonsuwan, a student at Jirasartwitthaya School, which is just north of the capital Bangkok.
The elephants have been paying year-end visits to schools in the area for nearly two decades, but since the pandemic hit, the usual yuletide cheer of candy and presents has shifted to hand sanitiser and face masks. Organisers said they held the event to encourage students to return to the classroom after months of taking online classes from home.
Coronavirus cases peaked in August this year in Thailand. So far the country has a total of 2.2 million infections and 21,528 deaths.