Dok Ngern’s name means Silver Flower. She was born in 2000 in Surin, and has spent part of her young life working in Pattaya as a street begging elephant.
|Her owner decided to teach her more tricks in order to bring in more money, so she was sent to elephant training school. The training was painful and resulted in many scars.
In November 2005, a team from Elephant Nature Park spotted Dok Ngern at the elephant festival in Surin. She was bleeding and looked very sad. Dok Ngern was displaying the agitated swaying motions typical of traumatized captive elephants. When Lek approached her in an attempt to help, she would not accept food. Scars on her forehead are evidence of physical abuse, yet this sort of behaviour shows the signs of deeper emotional and psychological scaring. Antoinette van de Water was also present at the festival. She resolved to buy Dok Ngern as part of Bring the Elephant HOME, a project which involved bringing two elephants across Thailand to Elephant Nature Park, while educating people about their plight along the way. This project also involved the purchase of a banana plantation, to provide for the elephants’ sustainable future. So Dok Ngern, along with an older elephant Sri Nuan, Antoinette’s team, and two mahouts from ENP, began their journey towards freedom at the end of 2005. Upon Dok Ngern’s arrival at the park in January 2006, she was greeted with fanfare and celebration.
Settling in to the herd
Dok Ngern quickly joined a new family group consisting of Sri Nuan, Malai Tong, Mae Tok Koh, and Mae Tok Koh’s son Pupia, to whom she has become a fiercely protective older sister. She now has a future of freedom ahead in which she can forget the horrors she endured in the first few years of her life.
*Records and official documentation of elephants of more than 10 years ago are sketchy at best. The dates we use are our best estimates.
12 Jul 2009 Dok Ngern gives birth to a lovely male elephant – Chang Yim