As a young elephant, Pimpa was forced into a long hard life. Pimpa was put to work in several riding camps all over Thailand.
These locations include: Hua Hin, Koh Chang, Pattaya, Ayuthaya Province and Phuket.
It was in Phuket, at 30, Pimpa gave birth to Valentine, on Valentine’s Day. They were shortly separated after that and Pimpa continued working at various elephant riding camps as a trekking elephant.
At the sanctuary, Pimpa can often be seen hanging out with her friend Sai Thong.
Born and bred for captivity, Sai Thong has gone through several different change in ownership since she was a young elephant.
At the age of 32, Sai Thong was moved to Phuket where she was put to work at a riding camp as one of many trekking elephants.
Sai Thong joined the sanctuary at the age of 38 and has been a wonderful addition to our team.
At the sanctuary, Sai Thong can be seen always hanging out with her friend Pimpa, often using each other as scratching posts.
Sai Thong also enjoys her swims and can often be observed napping while taking a dive.
On the 14th of February, 2009, Baby Valentine was born to his mom Pimpa.
Born and raised in Phuket, Valentine has been put to work as an entertainment elephant in various hotels.
During his first few years as an entertainment elephant, Valentine worked as a ‘meet and greet’ elephant at hotel lobbies, where he would do tricks and perform for guests. When Valentine got too big, He was moved to an elephant camp where he would work as a trekking elephant for the next 3 years.
Valentine was rescued in 2017 (same time as his mom, Pimpa) Everyone at the sanctuary will never forget the day Pimpa and Valentine were reunited. To this day, they still have a close bond and Valentine can be seen between socializing with the younger elephants and going to his mom for cuddles.
In 1958, a 6 years old Kiow Ta was separated from her mom and brought from the North of Thailand (Chiang Mai), to the south.
Kiow Ta would move around to various parts of Thailand doing different types of jobs, ranging from logging, entertainment and riding.
Shortly after that, Kiow Ta moved again, this time to Phuket where she would stay for a long time. Kiow Ta worked in various parts of Phuket, but most distinctly, at an elephant camp in Rawai where she would carry people on her back.
Kiow Ta was rescued in 2016 and has enjoyed her freedom with her best friends (Destiny’s Child), Cherry and Dok Khun.
At the sanctuary, Kiow Ta can be seen keeping up with the younger girls but also keeping them in check. In short, she’s a proper grandma.
Although, Saw Nui is of Eastern decent (both her parents were from the Surin province in Thailand), she was born in the South. Saw Nui, born and bred in captivity, was put to work in various logging camps around the island. As a young elephant, Saw Nui miscarried the baby she was carrying. We believe this left a traumatic impact on her, as elephants are very emotional creatures. Since then, Saw Nui never had another young again.
At the sanctuary, Saw Nui plays the role of full time baby sitter and care takes for the 3 young elephants. The little ones are also in love with her. Being the ‘cool aunt’, we always observe the children running around and always crowding around her in play. This is especially helpful to Katin and Peter who were separated from their moms at a very young age and are growing up at the sanctuary as orphans.
Nadia was born and bred in captivity. Throughout her childhood, Nadia formed attachments to her different handlers only to have them change.
As an infant, Nadia was put to work as an entertainment elephant, performing and doing tricks for people’s entertainment. When she got bigger, Nadia moved to trekking place where she would carry people on her back going out for walks. Nadia would go through a handful of handlers/places before she would be rescued.
When Nadia first arrived at the sanctuary, her anxiousness affected everything. Nadia was constantly agitated and would sway from side to side, not knowing who to trust. It took about 4 months for Nadia to fully calm down and learn to trust. Now, Nadia enjoys her quiet time with older elephants like Saw Nui and Duang Chai Nadia also plays well with her younger foster siblings.
Separated from mom at birth, Peter grew up as a tourist attraction until he was rescued.
Peter joined our family in 2017 at the age of 1. Peter’s character is that of a massive puppy. Peter seems to strike a balance between being around the adults and playing with the other babies. A bit of a pushover, Baby Meena always has her way with him. We always find amusement in observing Peter shake it off and continue playing with his older foster sibling.
Born in Surin (East of Thailand), Wan Dee was separated from her mom at a young age. While seeking jobs, her owners would travel from the East to the South of Thailand where she would eventually end up. For the next 12 years, Wan Dee was put to work in various riding camps around the island. It was also during this time that she conceived Meena (through breeding).
Wan Dee was rescued in 2016 along side her baby. The one thing that strikes us the most about Wan Dee is her patience as a mom. Wan Dee’s ability to give her daughter space to explore while keeping a nice safe distance really astounds us in her mothering abilities.
At the sanctuary, Wan Dee spends her time exploring the grounds with her daughter Meena.
San-Dee’s story is a one of a kind.
Born in the south of Thailand, San-Dee was a logging elephant for a long time. Too old to log, San-Dee was moved to a riding camp where she continued working for a long time. Now, San-Dee’s story did not end there. San-Dee was one of the lucky few that got adopted by a sanctuary. For the next few years, San-Dee would lead a blissful life, roaming free and getting fed without having to work for her meals. The sanctuary unfortunately could not afford to keep her and contacted Elephant Jungle sanctuary for assistance.
We will never forget the emotions that was running on the day of San-Dee’s transfer. To see the love they have for her made the transfer more emotional. San-Dee’s story is an affirmation to the positive change that is happening with regards to Elephant welfare in Thailand.
Another ‘Proper Grandma’, San-Dee spends her free time grazing the space in the sanctuary. San-Dee also enjoys the company of the older elephants but finds the younger elephants pesky and shoos them away. They also know to steer clear of her.
The entirety of Pi Kul’s history, up until the point she was rescued, was the intertwining of logging and riding camps. Born in a province in the south, Pi Kul went through many change of handlers throughout her life. This meant inconsistency. Pi Kul moved from riding to logging camps constantly.
The first thing we noticed about Pi Kul upon her rescue was her graying eyes. Like our many other rescues, Pi Kul suffered from cataracts. The inability to see clearly made Pi Kul very anxious when she first arrived. Pi Kul was hostile towards her handlers and her peers for a while. Now, Pi Kul is fully integrated into the program and enjoys the company of her peers and her caretakers.