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The rescue of Medo

Park Rescue Number 31 - Story Jul 06 - By Lek Chailert

Late April 2006 during our Jumbo Express trip along Burma border , we found a female elephant working She was employed to carry logs along by the Burma border. This female elephant is named Medo. She is one of the hundreds who continue to work hauling logs in the jungle. She shares a terrible destiny with many others including an elephant named Giant. Poor working conditions caused serious health issues with Medo.

She was born in 1976 at a Karen tribal village. After training (at 6 years old) the owner traded her for a bull elephant. The new owner trained her to prepare for logging work and she started work at aged 8 years old.

When she was 12 years old during logging she has the accident with a heavy log that broke her rear left ankle. The logging camp company canceled the contract with her owner because of her injuries. She was rested for one year, but her leg was never the same and she had become lame. The owner tried to take her for logging work from many camps but no one wanted her. Finally he had an idea.

Medo's damaged back
Medo's damaged back.. more pics

Realizing that Medo can no longer work for him, he thought she could still make a baby for him. He chained her four legs to the tree and put a bull in full *musth by her as a breeding partner. The crazed bull elephant tried to kill her and he pushed his huge tusks into her side and forced her to the ground. She screaming for help, but no-one would come closed to the bull Medo lay down to the ground bleeding and crying in agony. She tried to stand up over and over again before collapsing. A cursory examination later found that Medo's back bone has become dislocated.

She was sick with the sustained injuries for many years but still had a strong will to survive. She pulled through but became handicaped. No one will excpected her back at logging camps again. No one want to see her around their business because this day she was so shabby looking and they thought it would make their business look bad if they have her around.

The owner separated Medo from her herd but still forced her to work to pulling logs at a village .She stay working alone for 15 years old and had no contact with other elephants during this time.

We first saw Medo found in February and we couldn't believe that they still used her to work. But, when we looked into her eyes, we found that she is willing to live.

The park wrote to many friend and supporters. Immediately Bert from Serengeti Foundation USA got back to us and, working with Connie Speight of Elephant Umbrella Fund gave us the urgent help we needed in order to rescue her. It took many long hours and a tiresome journey for her to reach the park. We could now give her a home where she could rest and enjoy the company of other elephants. The first contact for over 15 years

She received a warm welcome from the herd and quickly became a member of Mae Thor Kor's family . She become a buddy of Malai thong (the tripod elephant who has one leg injured from landmine)

Today she has a new family and the end of a loneliness and isolation for more than 15 years.

Medo is under the care of Monkol our Karen Mahout and Lisa the girl mahout from UK.

Thanks Bert, Connie and all our supporter who provide the necessary generous help to rescue her. Thanks for giving Medo a new life.

 The rescue is dedicated to Matthew DuBois, the beloved son of Marion and Tom DuBios who died, aged 35 in the year 2000.

More pictures of Medo's rescue


*musth - a condition that bull elephants periodically suffer from. During this time they become erratic and can kill anything close to them. This includes previous elephant friends and humans.

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