A baby elephant has been reunited with her mother, thanks to the goodhearted people of Elephant Nature Park in Thailand. The young elephant, named Me-Bai, had been taken from her mother over three years ago and forced into the Thai tourism industry.
Elephants are often taken as young calves from their mothers to work in the entertainment industry. The entertainment can come in the form of elephant riding or as performing animals. In order to train elephants to be obedient and docile, the animals undergo a process called breaking. Elephants have long lives, and Asian elephants live between 60 and 80 years, which means that some elephants can spend their lives away from their natural habitats and other elephants.
Me-Bai was made to work all day and night, giving rides to tourists. She was still a baby, and had not reached close to adulthood- young elephants reach maturity at the age of 17. Eventually Me-Bai collapsed under the pressure and was unable to work any longer. Don’t worry, this story has a happy ending! Me-Bai was soon afterwards rescued by Elelphant Nature Park and the animal charity set out to find her mother. After a few weeks of detective work, the team found her mother, Mae Yum, and the pair were reunited.
The park is dedicated to rescuing elephants like Me-Bai who have suffered at the hands of humans. It was established in the 1990s, and sits within 250 acres of rainforest, 60 km from Chiang Mai, Thailand. The co-founder of the park, Sangduen “Lek” Chailert travels all over to Thailand to provide education to elephant trainers (mahouts).