Baithong was saved just before her sweet 16 birthday, and now lives a happy life free from the torment of having a howdah placed on her back every day for unwitting tourists to ride her around in exchange for a few bananas.
Baithong is the youngest of the herd.
Boon me has been around for many years and if she could talk the stories she would be able to tell you. She’s gone from riding camp to riding camp all over Thailand and has seen a think of two.
Boon me is the eldest and the wised in the group and keeps the younger elephants in check.
Siriporn came to Elephant Jungle Sanctuary from a riding camp in September 2017 and has been lovingly cared for ever since and loves to hang out with her new friends down at the mud spa.
After the showering Siriporn can sometimes be seen holder a scrubbing brush like she’s singing in the shower.
Som O like many unfortunate elephants was born into a life of pain and destined to spend her life with a howdah (chair) on her back until Elephant Jungle Sanctuary was able to give her a new home.
Sam O spends her time with Baithong and the pair are often seen feeding each other Pineapple grass.
Wassana joined the EJS family in September of 2017 and hasn’t looked back. Research suggests that elephants are empathic creatures and Wassana certainly backs up this theory. After the tour guests will sometimes tell us how they have been trouble recently and that as soon as they meet Wassana they felt at ease, as if their troubles faded away.
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.