Born to the Tak province in the North of Thailand, Duang Chai has traveled to many places in her life before rescue. As a young elephant, Duang Chai was brought to the Surin province in the East, where she would live her life in a logging camp. As a young elephant, Duang Chai would work in various logging and riding camps. Eventually, in her travels, Duang Chai ended up in the South, traveling between Phang nga and Phuket – as her owner looked for working opportunities.
Duang Chai is an introverted elephant who likes to stay in shaded areas of the sanctuary. Duang Chai also likes her alone time and has bonded well with her peers and caregivers.
Our little evil genius. Meena was born in Phuket to her mom, Wan-Dee. Meena was rescued at 6 months and has been a ball of joy to be around. Meena is also Choke’s half sister (same father, different mother)
Always her mother’s shadow. Meena’s character has always baffled us. She strikes a good balance of being mommy’s little assistant to getting her own space to play and be her own little woman. Her combination of playfulness and immense intelligence sometimes gets her into trouble with the older elephants. Meena, however, always knows how to wiggle her way out of tight situations.
A beautiful young, elephant bursting with energy, we cannot wait to see all the mischief Meena is going to get into.
Separated from mom at birth, Katin, like Peter, also grew up as a tourist attraction until she was rescued. Born and bred in captivity, Katin would live the first year of her life, selling tickets for places along the Big Buddha. Katin is the half sister to Peter and a wonderful playmate.
At the sanctuary, the two are always being observed to walk aimlessly until being called back. There is also a lot of affection for Katin and Peter at the camp as the older elephants protect them and nurture them.
Mae Thong was born and bred for captivity. From an early age, Mae Thong was separated from her mom and started her long life working for companies. From logging to riding. Mae Thong constantly on the move. While working in a riding camp in Rawai, Mae Thong was bought over by an entertainment company. While we do not condone things like riding, Mae Thong was treated very well there. Mae Thong worked there for 7 years until they were unable to afford to keep her.
Mae Thong is the joins our group of elephants in the Matriarch Project. The Matriarch Project is a project that aims at giving a second lease on life to old, retired elephants. While the cost of rescue for older elephants is slightly cheaper, the rescues typically come with a whole list of medical problems. Our older rescues are given a special diet with supplements and enzymes to aid digestion. Our in-house vet is also on call to treat our Matriarchs whenever the need arises.
Thong was rescued from a riding camp in Phang Nga. Like most of our older elephant rescues, Thong was put to work in a logging camp for many years. When Thong got too weak to haul logs for the logging camp she was working for, she was moved to a riding camp. While we desperately want to believe that being forced to work in places not meant for an elephant, was the worst thing that could have happened to her, this is unfortunately not the case.
Thong had early onset of cataracts. While Cataracts is a common ailment among older elephants, early onset of cataracts could mean high exposure to the sun, malnutrition or lack of basic health care. Cataracts can be easily defined as lesions of the lens. This causes the lens to become opaque. Thong’s ‘inefficiency’ grew increasingly irritable to her handlers. Her mahout, unfortunately, struck her in her other eye, causing permanent damage to her cornea and instant blindness. Here, at EJSCP, we are always in support of mahouts and believe that instead of not caring for the elephants, they instead do not know HOW TO CARE for the elephants. This, however, is a recurring thing that happens with inexperienced mahouts.
Thong is the latest elephant to join our Matriarch Project. The Matriarch Project is a project that aims at giving a second lease on life to old, retired elephants. While the cost of rescue for older elephants is slightly cheaper, the rescues typically come with a whole list of medical problems. Our older rescues are given a special diet with supplements and enzymes to aid digestion. Our in-house vet is also on call to treat our Matriarchs whenever the need arises.
When we first met Pong Si, we were shocked at how underweight she was. Pong Si, aged 69 had had a long hard life prior to being rescued.
Pong Si worked in a logging camp before being transferred out to work for a riding camp in Krabi. The riding camp she worked at however started having financial troubles. A lack of customers meant that they had to start regulating the amount of food Pong Si was given. Over the years, this started taking a toll on Pong Si and her health. Before we could transfer Pong Si out, the Southern Elephant Hospital was asked to come in so that we could ensure that Pong Si would be certified safe for travel. Pong Si was given IV Fluids to make sure she was properly hydrated.
Now, Pong Si has settled into her new environment. In a way though, she is still healing from her past traumatic experiences. Ever so often, we see her cowering when someone approaches. We are however extremely grateful that she is trying. Pong Si seems a lot happier now and that is really all we can ask for.