Imagine a baby elephant spending the nights in panic, alone and confused, far away from her mother. During the day, at only three-years-old, the baby elephant works to entertain tourists. It happens all over Thailand, where Asian elephants attract tourists. Elephants are caught in the wild and then sold to work in giving tourists rides. They also learn to do tricks, all for entertainment.
How do the elephant calves learn to be docile? The answer is heartbreaking but true. One calf, in particular, lived to ‘tell’ her story. But she was saved in time, and she even got reunited with her mother!
20. Training the Calves
So that the young elephants obey humans, they get through a “breaking period.” It’s a process in which they are shackled and beaten until their will is broken. One day, a baby elephant called Me-Bai was torn from her mother…
19. Me-Bai Was Separated From Her Mom
After being taken away from her mother’s side, Me-Bai was sent to be trained. She endured the beating, and then a caretaker rented her to use the calf for rides. This is how her story begins…
18. She Became Sick
The poor calf was too young and probably too sad to do her ‘job’. Me-Bai lost some weight, and she couldn’t carry tourists. It was a heartbreaking start. However, her caretaker took a good decision!
17. The Caretaker Reached Out
Unlike other caretakers that would discard the sick calf, Me-Bai’s caretaker reached out and called Elephant Nature Park for help. They immediately responded and took the calf in. It would all get better soon…
16. Pamper a Pachyderm
Lek Chailert is the Elephant Nature Park’s founder. He took Me-Bai and enrolled her in the program called “Pamper a Pachyderm.” The program takes trekking elephants and helps them live a normal life in the sanctuary.
15. Three Years Alone
A spokesperson with the Elephant Nature Park sanctuary, Natthanit Sommana said that Me-Bai spent over three years without her mother. Then, she was sold to become a trekking elephant. But the baby animal was all alone…
14. Elephant Nature Park
According to a video description on the sanctuary’s YouTube channel, Me-Bai was very young, so ‘she began to lose weight and could not carry the tourists any longer.’ But she finally reached the sanctuary, where she was very nervous…
13. Learning to Trust People
When Me-Bai got to the sanctuary, she was very nervous around the new caretakers. She believed that the humans would continue to abuse her. Then, she started to understand that she was safe. However, she desperately needed a mother!
12. Where Was Her Mother?
The staff at the sanctuary thought that maybe they could arrange a meeting between the baby and her mother. Little did they know that the mother was also around there. The sanctuary contacted the owners, and then, this amazing thing happened…
11. Agreed to Retire
Chailert searched for the owners of the mother elephant. He finally found them and invited them to the sanctuary and learn about their program “Pamper a Pachyderm.” They took a decision…
10. Me-Bai and Mae Yui
The owners of the mother elephant agreed to ‘retire’ her and send her to the sanctuary. Me-Bai’s mother was over 30 years old, and her name is Mae Yui, according to Sommana. And then, this happened…
9. On Their Way Home
The long-separated family would soon be reunited. After three days of traveling, these two elephants will reunite to start their life together. The group wrote this heart-melting post on rehabilitating Mae Yui and Me-Bai.
8. Back to the Wild
‘Now, Mae Yui’s owners and Elephant Nature Park are working together to rehabilitate Mae Yui and Me-Bai so that they can return to the wild and live free,’ wrote a post on the mother and daughter reunion. The mother’s reaction melted our hearts!
7. Karen Hill Tribe
The owners of the mother elephants were natives of the Karen Hill Tribe. They understood the importance of family and agreed to let Mae Yui get back to her daughter. Then, the mother and her daughter first saw each other after so many years…
6. Home Is Where The Loved Ones Are
Everyone was melting over the mother and daughter smooches. It’s so great to see that such a sad story finally has a happy ending. As for the baby Me-Bai, she laid eyes on her mom and then wouldn’t stop following her! Being next to her mom meant being home.
5. A Month Later
The staff at the elephant park kept a close eye on the pair. On their website, they kept writing updates and posting photos: ‘I have just spent time following them in their new home. The behavior of both has changed so much…’ The story is not over yet!
4. They’re Happy!
‘Their movements relaxed and easy, their ears flapping happy, their eyes calm and gentle,’ continued the post. Then, six months later, an awesome update shows more photos of Me-Bai and her mom.
3. Recovering The Lost Time
Me-Bai seems to recover her lost time and won’t stray from her mom for a second. She has learned a lot about finding food in the jungle: ‘Sometimes Mebai sees her mother take the jungle greenery and then she will take the food out from her mother’s mouth to taste it.’
2. A Good Therapy
‘They enjoy their freedom life very much now, and we can see so clear the deep bond between them, and how the peaceful life and nature’s freedom is the best therapy to heal them,’ wrote the update. Freedom, nature, and peace heal all wounds, when you live by your loved one’s side!
1. We’re Not So Different From Animals
The last update on Me-Bai and Mae Yui urges us to ‘break through the wall of thinking that humans and animals are different.’ However, until we do it, they will ‘continue to stand together, lending our voices in defense of animals. Together we are making a difference!