Sao Yai returns
Elephant Nature Park has often to deal with the heartbreak of losing a herd member. This normally happens when the owner has
agreed to keep an elephant that he legally owns at our park. This
can be for a number of reasons ranging from the need for rest,
injury, recovery to having a baby.
When funds permit we will make an offer for the elephant and
these negotiations can take days, months or even years. Sometimes
the price demanded increases and leaves us in a position where we
are unable to secure the release of the elephant.
Such was the case with Sao Yai. She had been with us for almost
seven years and we were never able to get the owner to transfer the
ownership documents necessary to free her into the herd. She gave
birth to Liberty or Libby on 25 Jan 03 and we were all delighted to
share in such a wonderful occasion.
From 1996 - 2003 Sao Yai was a much loved herd member and our
hearts sank when she was taken from us.
We came across her a number of times, mainly at Surin, though we
were never able to get the owner to sell for a price that we could
afford. Sao Yai has had two calves, one male and one female (Libby).
The male calf, Doe Do, is now a street beggar whereas Libby is now
working as a trekking elephant.
This episode continues with a very happy chapter in Sao Yai's
life. On Thu 02 June 2011 finally got to take
Sao Yai back to Elephant Nature Park and the herd where she belongs,
unfortunately she will be without her two off-springs. At least Sao
Yai can look forward to a happy a peaceful life at the park. As a
relatively young female (born in 1984) she should have many years of
life in the herd community where she can flourish and spend time
with her own.
Sao Yai freedom is thanks to the generosity of TV show host Bob
*Records and official
documentation of elephants of more than 10 years ago are sketchy at
best. The dates we use are our best estimates.