Elephant Enjoys Freedom After 85 Years, Has Heartwarming Reaction When She Arrives At Sanctuary

SomBoon the elephant is about 87 years old and for over 80 of those years she was a working elephant. She was stolen from the jungle when a baby and worked as a logging elephant before street begging with her owner and then 40 years used for elephant rides for tourists. She would work 10 to 12 hours a day and could not lie down afterwards because of a short chain around her ankle.

When Lek Chailert from Save Elephant Foundation learned SomBoon’s story, she knew she wanted to bring the old elephant to her sanctuary. Lek noticed that SomBoon is very skinny. She only weighs 2530 kg (5500 pounds) but is underweight by 1000 kg (2200 pounds). The elephant has no teeth for chewing and has only 30% of her vision. She also had five babies in her lifetime but they all passed away.

Soon SomBoon was on transport to travel 30 hours from northern Thailand to the south where Elephant Nature Park will give her the care she needs. SomBoon seemed to know she would get this care because the moment she got off the truck she lay down in the sand and took a long nap. She then gave herself a mud bath.

Lek says the elephant deserves to be back with a herd of elephants after her treatment with humans and that is what she will get at the sanctuary.

Save Elephant Foundation writes, “SomBoon, much like many rescued elephants, was captured over 80 years ago, torn from the wild and family, trained to serve humanity for decades. As she weakens, we believe she deserves the freedom she was denied. With little time left, we aim to provide her with the love, happiness, and freedom she missed for eight decades.”

They add, “In her twilight years, we strive to compensate for the experiences SomBoon lost, ensuring she receives the care and services she deserves today.”

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