After years of being apart, mother and baby elephant were now reunited. According to Lek Chailert, the founder of Elephant Heaven Nature Park in Chiang Mai province, Northern Thailand. Chailert was named as one of the six Women Heroes of Global Conservation by Hillary Clinton in 2010.
Me-Bai, the baby elephant, was taken in 2011 when she was 3 years old and sold into the tourism industry to give tourists rides. She did this for more than three and half years until the stress made her weak and the owners let her go. According to Elephant Nature Park, the elephant’s owner moved her out of the riding business because of failing health and allowed her to join the Pamper A Pachyderm program at Elephant Nature Park.
Yet soon, Lek Chailert of the Elephant Nature Park discovered MeBai’s mother was at a tourist camp more than 60 miles away at the Karen Tribe village and convinced the owner there to allow a visit from her kidnapped baby. So caretakers of MeBai walked her for over 60 miles for four days for that magical moment of the mother and daughter union.
Elephants never forget.
When Mae Yui and MeBai met, it seemed both of them were shocked and they held quiet, silent for half an hour. We all stand there silent with them and want to see what will happen. And then they began to talk, MeBai and her mother joining trunks, hugging each other and talking non-stop, 3 1/2 of catching up—it is a lot of things for them to share on their experiences,” says Chailert.
The owners of Mae Yui were so touched, they agreed to release her from captivity, too, so both elephants are being rehabilitated together at the new Karen Elephants Experience, and eventually will be returned to the wild.