Jennie a Cherished New Arrival at EJS
8 May 2024

Meet Jennie – A Cherished New Arrival at EJS Phuket

The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary team is proud to introduce Jennie – a beautiful new addition to our elephant family at Elephant Jungle Sanctuary’s Phuket location! Jennie is the third elephant to be introduced here in our new blog section, and if you haven’t met the others yet, you can read about Rosé and Lisa in their respective posts. These elephants each have unique backgrounds and histories, but they all now share a permanent home, where they can live a life of love, care, and respect.

Jennie is a beautiful 54 year old female elephant from southern Thailand, who was recently rescued from a local elephant camp and brought to Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Phuket, where she can now enjoy her retirement in a peaceful and happy permanent home. Born in Phang Nga province, Jennie began working long hours while she was still in her early teens. Throughout her life, she has been used by humans in a variety of difficult roles, often in extreme and difficult conditions. Though she has also worked in a number of riding camps, it is estimated that Jennie has spent over four decades of her life working in the logging industry, in both legal and clandestine operations.

These years of hard labour have taken their toll on Jennie physically, and though she has a strong, robust frame – Jennie has a body type that many consider a model ideal for female elephants, with long legs, a shapely form, and beautiful eyes – Jennie was frail, thin, and malnourished at the time of her arrival at Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. Due to her somewhat advanced age, as well as her tough lifestyle in the past, Jennie is missing some of her teeth, and is now unable to replace those which have been lost. This is not an uncommon problem in elderly elephants, both domestic and wild, however it is an issue that requires special attention and care. In her previous home, Jennie did not receive the necessary treatment for her condition, and additionally, being unable to work and generate income, she was often neglected.

Upon her arrival at EJS Phuket, our specialist veterinary team conducted a thorough physical examination of Jennie, and concluded that – likely due, at least in part, to her dental issues – she was significantly underweight, malnourished, and slightly dehydrated. She was also lacking muscle tone, indicating that she had not been provided with the opportunity or space to exercise an adequate amount. During her necessary quarantine period, the EJS veterinary team prescribed precautionary medications, such as anthelmintics, and formulated a bespoke nutrition plan for Jennie, designed to cater to her special needs, as well as to restore her health and energy quickly. She has also been provided with vitamins and dietary supplements to assist her recovery.

Jennie has bonded quickly and deeply with her new Mahout, and together they have frequently been venturing into the forest. This is an important part of Jennie’s new daily exercise regimen, and also offers her the opportunity to forage for food. Having previously worked in numerous logging camps in the jungles of southern Thailand, Jennie is unlike many domestic elephants in that she has a good knowledge of local flora, and can be selective in choosing the nutritional plants her body requires. Jennie’s Mahout reports that she is not a fussy eater, and enjoys a wide variety of foods, seemingly unhindered by her missing teeth, except for the fact that she must eat more slowly and patiently than other elephants.

Since her rescue, Jennie has settled in well at EJS Phuket, and her dietary plan, supplements, and exercise regimen have allowed her to regain some vitality and put on a significant amount of muscle. She appears visibly healthier, and no longer looks aged beyond her years. The EJS team is very pleased with her recovery thus far, and the speed of her weight gain has exceeded the expectations of our veterinary team. Jennie is a very social, friendly elephant, and she has made considerable effort to befriend the other elephants at our Phuket location and integrate into the herd. She seems to have found a role within the hierarchy, and is becoming close with a number of other elephants, but deep bonds have yet to be formed. We are confident that, in time, Jennie will become a truly beloved member of the EJS Phuket herd.