Thailand is a country blessed with a large number of natural resources. It is home to many animals, including over 3,000 domestic Asian elephants. The term “domestic” elephant is quite broad and includes both pets and elephants that work in the tourism or logging industries. Unfortunately, the industries that include elephants are often unmonitored, so many of these animals lead difficult lives.
Poor Kabu was an unfortunate victim of the illegal logging trade in Thailand. She had been hauling heavy logs up and down jungle trails, with a crippled leg, for upwards of 20 years! For Kabu, who was most likely stolen from her mother as a calf, every day of her life was filled with pain and suffering.
So when Lek Chailert, founder of the Elephant Nature Park, heard about the poor lame elephant who could barely walk, but was still being used for logging, she began gathering the funds to help.
“I don’t want to picture how painful, when she have to haul the logs up and down the mountain for years. “She said.
The actual rescue required a team of committed volunteers, as it took almost half a day just to get the poor petrified elephant into the tractor trailer, where she rode for almost 12 hours to her freedom.
Lek recalls, “It took almost half a day to walk Kabu to the truck. It was not easy for her to step on the transport as she was scared and confused. She have must wondered what will happen to her next. Now she in the truck to our home. From today no more fear no more pain no more chain or work.”
When she finally arrived at the Elephant Nature Park it was dark, but all of the resident elephants came out to greet the new arrival. She was met with loud, welcoming trumpets, followed by curiosity, as all of the elephants touched trunks with her as she walked by.
Some even seemed to be sympathetic as they ran their trunks over her lame foot, proving how intelligent and complex these animals really are.
These days, Kabu leads a restful life and is learning to trust people as they shower her with love and affection. Lek is full of big plans for her future. “Her new life begins, hope we can help to fix her legs and fix her mental issue.” she says.
She also has plans to find Kabu’s baby, who was sold to a tourist camp to give elephant rides shortly after birth. Kabu is only one of a few very lucky elephants, who are living proof of how much a little human kindness can go a long way.
All image source: Elephant Nature Park/Facebook