Elephant sanctuary livestreams herd bathing to calm frayed nerves

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Across the world, the overwhelming flood of anxiety-inducing news about the spread of coronavirus is prompting some to tune out or seek an escape.

A charity in Thailand has decided to livestream its elephant herd bathing in a river as a way to give people a respite and a sense of calm amid the news about the COVID-19 crisis.

"In order to counter the bad news on everyone’s timeline & brighten the day for those who cannot travel we will be live-streaming elephants across the world until further notice," the charity wrote on its Facebook page.

John Roberts of the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation said he was thinking about how many people are cooped up at home.

Image courtesy of the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation.

Image courtesy of the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation.

He soon had an idea: "Let's bring some elephants into people's lives, maybe we can cheer them up," he told The Associated Press.

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Wednesday's Facebook Live broadcast apparently showed the sun rising behind four elephants grazing and dust-bathing rather than splashing in the river.

The foundation, which is on Thailand's border with Myanmar, rescues elephants from the streets of cities and gives them and their handlers a natural environment in which to live and roam. It also funds research into elephant behavior. It currently hosts 21 animals.

Roberts says they will keep up the twice-daily online broadcast at https://www.facebook.com/GTAEF.helpingelephants for as long as the global crisis lasts.

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