Santa Claus spotted distributing masks to Thai kids... on elephants!

Santa Claus gave his sleigh and reindeer a break on Wednesday and rode elephants in Thailand during a special Christmas visit aimed at raising awareness about the threat of the coronavirus.

Santas on elephants

White-bearded handlers in floppy hats and Santa outfits sat atop elephants decked out in tinsel and trunk masks in the central province of Ayutthaya, distributing protective masks in baskets to schoolchildren, motorcyclists and drivers passing by.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Students love them

"They are funny and they are lovely. I think they are so cute," said elementary student Laksaporn Loetpiriyakamol.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Elephants on a school tour

The elephants have been paying year-end visits to schools in the area for two decades and normally give out gifts like candy and toys using their trunks.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Animals are social distancing too

This year, the pachyderms were social distancing, staying outside the schools and used their trunks to offer the face masks in baskets instead.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Thai authorities worried about cases

Thai authorities are urging extra caution after its worst outbreak was confirmed at the weekend, at a seafood centre near Bangkok, with cases since detected in about a quarter of the country's provinces.

(Photograph:Reuters)

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