Elepahnt Nature Park
 
Home > News

Elephant Nature Park

Grandmother Elephant passes away

Thong Bai's passing Aug 06 - By Lek Chailert

We rescued Thong Bai from a trekking camp in January 2005. She was more than 90 year old and had no teeth. When she arrive the park she could hardly eat the grass we provided and she was so tiny. We started to make new food recipes for this old elephant, recipes she loves.

Soon after her arrival she become a close friend of Mae Mai, a female elephant also rescued from a logging area. Park visitors always saw the two standing in the field together and they loved to go down to swim in the river.

 
In loving memory of Thong Bai our oldest
elephant at the park.
Thong Bai at Elephant Nature Park
Thong Bai at Elephant Nature Park

On 29 July Thong Bai's health started to fail and she collapsed. It took park staff many hours to lift her and support her to stand up. With the love and support from her friend Mae Mai, who never left her side, Thong Bai began to slowly recover. Six days later we thought it a miracle as we watched them walk across the park to the main hut. This astonished us, no one had given her much hope, and we were delighted to see her walking again.

 Thong Bai spent a happy time with Mae Mai over the following days. On 11 August at 10.30 pm she started to lay down beside her friend. Mae Mai constantly checked Thong Bai's health, using her trunk to smell all around her friends body. Late afternoon tears began rolling down Mae Mai's cheeks. At 3.35 pm the following day Thong Bai had passed away, thankfully with no pain. She just closed her eyes and rested forever. Within minutes of Thong Bai passing Mae Mai stood beside her and banged her trunk on the ground and moaned. It was heart breaking to see how sad and distraught she had become. We tried to take her away from Thong Bai's body but she refused to budge. A Buddhist monk came over to perform a ceremony for Thong Bai in the evening and Mae Mai had still not moved. She stood by Thong Bai until the very last minute when we moved the body.

Thanks for all of our volunteers who spent the week between 29 July to 12 August 06 and helped with the hard work in looking after Thong Bai and Mae Mai.

Thanks for Linda Rifschnider and Serengeti Foundation USA who helped us to rescue Thong Bai and gave her a moment of her life time to have a taste of freedom from work, to learn and received the love and care from humans. Of course thanks for Mae Mai who became her good friend and shared a happy time at the park and make Thong Bai felt like she had a real family and relished Thong Bai's unconditional love

Thong Bai's life in pictures

With the herd and, as always, with her best friend.

Home > News

Elephant Nature Park