If you get to your hotel and it doesn’t have a live-in dog, cat or flock of ducks, you should check out immediately. But when it comes to animals in hotels, the Jetwing Yala in Sri Lanka has gone big — literally.
Twitter user @upidaisy shared a video of an elephant in her hotel, and wrote: “woke up to a text from my mom about how a wild elephant went into a Sri Lankan hotel and gently wandered around while poking stuff with his trunk”.
woke up to a text from my mom about how a wild elephant went into a Sri Lankan hotel and gently wandered around while poking stuff with his trunk pic.twitter.com/C2biQT8C30
— Upuli 🇱🇰 (@upidaisy) January 19, 2020
The video, taken by her mum, racked up more than 5 million views in a single day. People are obsessed with this polite elephant calmly wandering the halls of the hotel lobby.
Aw you know he felt bad about knocking that lamp over. It’s ok Mr. Elephant, we know you didn’t mean to.
— Christina Murphy (@murphystina) January 19, 2020
GIVE HIM THE HOTEL, AND ANYTHING ELSE HE WANTS.
— Allison (@zenminivan) January 19, 2020
looking around like what is dis hunny
— St. Cassius (@CRUELCASSIUS) January 19, 2020
But truly the best part of this story is that we know whomst this gentle giant is. His name is Natta Kota, or Short Tail, and he’s a regular guest at the hotel, according to the BBC.
Natta Kota’s been visiting the hotel, that sits on the edge of a national park, since 2013. At the start, he also appeared at a few nearby resorts, but recently he seems to have settled down.
Waiting for the bellboy to step in and ask if he would like help with his trunk.
— Zin ✨ (@Z_Sin) January 19, 2020
My compliments to the structural engineer who designed this building
— DebbieF (@DebbieF12381) January 19, 2020
“A few years ago, he took up permanent residence at Jetwing where he is allowed to be at peace. Natta Kota spends his days sleeping in the shade of the scrubs and taking walks along the hotel’s footpaths,” a Jetwing spokesperson told the BBC.
Admittedly, Natta Kota isn’t always this well behaved. Hotel staff threw him under the bus for stealing food from the kitchen and other guest’s cars. But who could stay mad at this certified good boy, who’s better behaved than most human guests anyway.
I keep getting questions: yes we love elephants in Sri Lanka & yes you’ll see them all over. they’re super common on roads/ temples/towns/other places. they are culturally important & people feel strongly that elephants (all animals) be loved/well cared for.
— Upuli 🇱🇰 (@upidaisy) January 20, 2020
Ready to plan your Sri Lankan holiday now? It’s an essential bucket list spot for nature lovers, with balmy weather, great surfing conditions and plenty more animal encounters. You can even stay in a two-storey villa shaped like an elephant.
(Lead image: The Simpsons)
Alana is the staff writer on AWOL who thinks the best way to travel is by taking spontaneous detours and stopping at every local bakery to try the cakes. She writes a lot about Australian TV, Big Things, cursed food, and theme parks. You can follow her on Instagram @alana.dotcom. It’s mostly dogs she meets along the way.