About the Author: Kristie A. Kenney serves as the United States Ambassador to the Royal Kingdom of Thailand.
I celebrated Thai National Elephant Day with a visit to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. I was joined by Nantana Sivakua, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Thai Embassy, and it brought back so many memories! As a child growing up in Washington, D.C. the National Zoo was where I first learned about the importance of animal conservation. I remember as a small child my visits to the National Zoo and being fascinated by the animals and by stories of their homelands. Little did I know that as an adult I’d live in Thailand and have a chance to help promote animal conservation programs. I know the people of Thailand feel just as passionate as I do in wanting future generations to see the incredible biodiversity of our world.
We got a great tour from Dennis Kelly, Director of the National Zoo, who introduced us to some of the Zoo’s elephants — Ambika, Shanthi, and Kandula. Kandula… more »