Get to Know
PLAY: Piece the jigsaw puzzle together of author Jin Pyn Lee's photo.
Children's picture books, God's creation and children. Catch author and illustrator Jin Pyn Lee a.k.a. Kristine amongst any of these, and you will likely see a silly grin on her face. The English Literature graduate's debut children's picture book was the first from Singapore to be published in multiple languages and countries. It was also the first to win an animation award in Japan and was staged as a play. (Find out what inspired Jin Pyn to write her first book, and watch the animation here.) The wide-eyed vegetarian has also written stories for Singapore's Ministry of Education, children's animation, the national papers, amongst others. Check out the books here. And yes, Jin Pyn was a Singapore Girl and rides an off-road motorbike.
PLAY: Find matching pairs of the same expressions of the elephant.
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Snoring? The elephant denies it but he snores when lying down to sleep. He'll lie down to sleep when he feels safe, usually when amongst friends and family. He loves his family, especially the trunk hugs! Apart from spending 16 hours a day eating 90kg of food, he loves to cover himself in mud or soil. He is not being naughty or dirty. Mud and soil protect the elephant's sensitive skin from insect bites, sunburn and helps keep him cool. Oh and, the elephant will have you know, there are no domesticated elephants. All elephants are wild.
The elephant shudders to think of the many friends in captivity who are not allowed to be elephants. They are forcibly separated from family and friends, beaten, starved, chained, and made to perform unnatural tasks. Deformed backs from carrying loads not meant for their backs, cracked feet from walking hot tarmac grounds, begging, and skin burnt from sunburn on beaches are not uncommon.
But thankfully there are places that let elephants be elephants. In national parks like Sri Lanka's Minneriya and Uda Walawe, or in Malaysia or Indonesia's Borneo island, one can go on a wildlife safari and watch the elephant families. In genuine no-touch sanctuaries like Elephant Nature Park, guests just enjoy watching elephants be elephants. No bullhooks, no rides, no performances. Thanks to the global Covid-19 pandemic, many elephants in Thailand have returned to the villages. Save the Elephant Foundation is working with the owners to allow guests to enjoy elephants as elephants. And it's more entertaining and educational!
Watch elephants as elephants, and learn more about them here.
Meet an elephant in 3D in your own space, and listen to some of the sounds an elephant makes!
PLAY: Where is the tree? Can you spot it amongst other trees?
Trees! Do you love the tree and other trees? They come in all shapes, sizes and colours. But all of them produce the oxygen we need to breathe, give us rain, hold the soil together, provide food, give shade, offer a home for many animals and are a scratching post to elephants. The tree is not just a friend to the elephant. He is a friend to us.
And trees do talk! They send messages through their roots, into the air, and speak in such high pitches they are not audible to the human ear. Did you know that at death a single tree in the forest will send its nutrients to other trees through its roots? This doesn't happen when it is chopped down.
Trees make up forests. Forests are critical for the health of our planet. They are key in storing carbon dioxide and slowing or even reversing climate change. Farmers and families who need to grow their own food to survive depend on forests for rain to water their crops, and prevent soil erosion. And forests calm us. Spending time in nature has been proven to heal emotionally and enhance our health. Who doesn't like a stroll in the forests?
Enjoy the symphony of forests, and plant a tree: