At the herd: 06 May 03
Rescued from: Training
Birthday: 15 Nov 2001
In the early morning light we caught first glimpses of a new-jungle born elephant at our haven. It was a tiny male, healthy and hairy. We had rented his mother from an elephant camp when we learned of her pregnancy. Lek saw her baby moving inside her stomach as she climbed the mountain carrying trekking tourists on her back.
She asked the mahout for the chance to rest the expectant mother but was told that these elephants are still under agreement with the camp and she will have to work until the end of the contact. Lek was deeply troubled with this and tried to find the way out to help this poor pregnant elephant. Finally she decided to pay the rent for that elephant and take her away to rest at the Elephant Haven. Barely two weeks after that she gave birth to a healthy baby boy. He is the first born in the middle of the jungle thus Lek named him “Jungle boy” Everybody who saw him found the little creature so adorable. When he made his first contact with earth he started immediately to walk and was curious at everything around him.
When he spotted Lek and the volunteers he did not hesitate to walk over to sniff them and push with his trunk to show that he is a powerful giant. Jungle boy showed his intelligence the first hour of his life. Everyone lucky enough to witness his birth on that day were so amazed at the way his mother took care of her son and they immediately fell in love with this lovable, clumsy little boy. The volunteers and Lek spent time to follow and research the birth and how his mother cared for him since that wonderful day in the jungle. The time spent with Jungle boy was so beautiful and rewarding. Lek knew that the baby jungle boy was born to be free and he should not have to work.
Two months later Jungle Boy and his mother had to return to work at the elephant trekking camp. The day they left Elephant Haven his mother trumpeted very loud with anger, fear and sadness.
It made all of us heartbroken and we turned silently and cried. Next day Lek and volunteers went to see Jungle Boy and his mother at the walking trail. Lek knew Jungle boy will pass this way as this is a regular elephant trekking route. Soon they see the little baby criss-crossing between the front legs of his mother. He would hide under his mother body when he not quite sure of the things around him. The little boy is so nervous; this of the first day of his young life outside Elephant Haven. Sometimes he is so shy and under-confident. He moves back and knocks against the legs of his mother and was frequently tripping and falling down. His eyes are deep red with tiredness as this was his natural sleeping time. If he was in the wild with his mother he would be fast asleep under her ever present protection and love. His life is now programmed and controlled by humans.
Jungle boy was part of an elephant convoy. It contained many baby elephants following their mothers. He is the youngest of the group . The baby can have his mothers milk only when the job is done and they take the tourist back to the next village of jungle platform. Jungle boy and his mother now no longer have to work as tourist elephant taxi’s. Little jungle boy learns quickly how to survive in tourist circles. When he watches the bigger elephants play football for banana rewards, he picks up the ball to play in imitation of the bigger ones.
Jungle Boy is back
He was brought back to the park is now part of the family group Mae Keow and Mae Boon Ma..As he grows he is gaining confidence and enjoys wrestling with Hope. He loves his time in the river and in the mud-pit and goes there whenever possible.