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Elephant of the Week 4 September 2023: Jaidee

Beautiful Granny Jaidee originates from Surin province, Thailand.

When Jaidee was old enough, she was sold and began her usurious service in logging (both legal and illegal) working in the far south of Thailand.

When logging was banned in 1989, she became a trekking elephant. She worked all over Thailand, from the beaches in the south to the jungles of the north and in between.

As she got older, she became weaker and had no strength to carry tourists up hills. She then spent most of her time trekking where the terrain was flat, which meant beaches or open plains with little or no shade.

Sometimes she was rented out for weddings and expected to stand in one place, quite often in the hot sun for hours on end.

Her last job was giving rides at a resort in the south that had an elephant camp close by to cater to guests. The days were hot and grueling. Jaidee was getting slower and slower. Thankfully, because of the new Animal Protection Laws that came into effect in December 2014, this resort decided to shut down its camp and sell off its elephants.

Jaidee was considered a favorite of the owner, who wished for her to be retired. The owner contacted Save Elephant Foundation and a rescue plan was put in place to bring Jaidee to a place of sanctuary at the age of 68, to spend the rest of her life free from work and tethers. Jaidee was rescued to Elephant Nature Park in January, 2015.

Jaidee made it through all her years of service without any broken bones or dislocations but is blind in one eye and has minimal sight in the other. Jaidee is now ~76 years old. She can still move pretty fast for an old lady, which we have to be cautious of because she does not make friends readily. Her eye issues keep her mostly out of the sun and she goes for walks when the sun is setting.

She is getting old but the sun sets on us all.

Her name, Jaidee, translates to “Good Heart”. May we all aspire to that epithet !

To learn more about granny Jaidee and how you can support Elephant Nature Park, please visit the link below ;

Jaidee (ใจดี)

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