Me-Bai, a baby female elephant, was taken away from her mother when she was three years old to go through the training crush. When training was done, the owner hired her out to the tourist camp to be used in a mahout traning program, she also was neck-ridden by tourists, even though a young baby. When she began to get quite thin, the owner moved her out from the riding business to join our program Pamper A Pachyderm. When she first arrived, she was quite nervous and we took care to feed her well until she was healthy again. We also began to search what had become of her mother. We found that her mother was working in the trekking camp.
When I had the chance, I invited the owner of the mother elephant to come to visit our project. I learned that he is the native Karen Hill Tribe, and that in his village they had other elephants who were mostly leased to work in the tourist camp. We invited him to learn of our project and offered to help them to set up a Pamper Program for their elephants and to take the elephant out of the trekking camps and to bring them home. The owner was interested and he took time to learn of our method. We were happy when he and his family in the Karen village agreed to take their elephant out of riding and shows to come back home and to be with the family. Most importantly, we can bring Me-Bai back home and her mother, Mae Yui, out of the trekking, both mother and daughter, to reunion after they have been separated for more than 3 years.
Yesterday, our team and volunteers began the journey with Me Bai on the road, and walking past many villages until she reaches her home where she will see her mother again. The volunteer will accompany her all the way to the Karen village. It will take 3 days to reach home. I will update and share with you stories of the road and especially the reaction of mother and child meeting after so many years.