What starts of as a sad story of an elephant in captivity becomes one of happiness and rebirth when the baby is reunited with her mother! MeBai was just a calf when she was sold to entertain tourists in Thailand. She was used in a circus and then an elephant riding service. Having been taken from her mother when she was too young and maltreated, MeBai’s health suffered.
Eventually, she lost too much weight because of the stress and loneliness and could not carry tourists any longer. That’s when elephant rescuer Lek Chailert intervened and brought her to Elephant Nature Park, the elephant sanctuary she founded.
“Imagine her many nights filled with panic and fear, a child alone, injured and confused; for three and 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,” Chailert wrote.
Chailert also managed to track down MeBai’s mother, named Mae Yui. She was at another trekking camp near to the sanctuary. Chailert spoke with Mae Yui’s owner and in a wonderful turn of events, the owner decided to retire her, which meant mother and daughter could be reunited!
Shortly after, a group of volunteers helped walk MeBai back to her mother. The journey was over 100 kilometres and took 4 days.
The mother and daughter did not know they would be seeing each other again after so many years apart. But when they finally saw each other it as a joyous moment.
“When Mae Yui and MeBai met, it seemed both of them were shocked and they held quiet, silent for half an hour,” Chailert wrote. “And then they began to talk, MeBai and her mother joining trunks, hugging each other and talking non-stop, three and half years of catching up.”
Chailert says MeBai is like a “little baby again”. “She feels safe when she sleeps because her mother stands over her. She sleeps deeply and snores loud in the jungle,” Chailert wrote. “Some time she wakes up and tries to drink milk from her mother’s breast. It is such a beautiful moment.”
Now safe at the Elephant Nature Park, the two elephants will be rehabilitated so that they can return to the wild and live free.
Share this heartwarming reunion with your friends and family!