What commences as a somber tale of an elephant’s captivity transforms into a heartwarming story of renewal and joy as a baby elephant is reunited with her mother. Meet MeBai, a tender calf who was tragically sold into the service of entertaining tourists in Thailand.
Her journey took her from the circus to an elephant riding operation, a life that weighed heavily on her young shoulders. Separated from her mother at a tender age and subjected to maltreatment, MeBai’s health suffered as a consequence.
The stresses and solitude she endured took a severe toll, causing her to lose significant weight and rendering her incapable of carrying tourists any longer. It was at this juncture that the compassionate elephant rescuer, Lek Chailert, intervened. MeBai found her salvation at Elephant Nature Park, an elephant sanctuary founded by Chailert.
Chailert’s words resonate with empathy: “Imagine her many nights filled with panic and fear, a child alone, injured and confused; for three and a half years, she stood in the rain and the sun without her mother; for three and a half years, she entertained the human need for subservience”.
Furthermore, Chailert undertook a remarkable effort to locate MeBai’s long-lost mother, named Mae Yui, who resided in another trekking camp near the sanctuary. A conversation with Mae Yui’s owner led to a momentous decision, her retirement, opening the door to a poignant reunion between mother and daughter.
With the assistance of a dedicated group of volunteers, MeBai embarked on a remarkable journey covering over 100 kilometers, spanning four days. The prospect of reunion filled the hearts of both mother and daughter with hope, despite years of separation. When the moment of reunion finally arrived, it was a jubilant and touching sight to behold.
Chailert captures the essence of their encounter: “When Mae Yui and MeBai met, it seemed both of them were shocked and they held quiet, silent for half an hour… And then they began to talk, MeBai and her mother joining trunks, hugging each other and talking non-stop, three and a half years of catching up”.
MeBai has reverted to a state of childlike innocence, feeling secure when she sleeps, knowing her mother stands guard. In the lush jungle, she slumbers deeply, accompanied by the gentle sounds of her snoring. At times, she awakens and attempts to nurse from her mother’s breast, a profoundly moving moment.
Now residing safely at the Elephant Nature Park, these two magnificent creatures will undergo a process of rehabilitation, paving the way for their eventual return to the wild, where they can savor the joys of a free and unburdened life.
Share this heartwarming reunion with your friends and family, celebrating the enduring bond between a mother and her child.