SanMueng is a male elephant who was removed from his mother’s care at the tender age of three and forced to perform at Phuket Zoo.
He was forced to “dance” to music, “play” musical instruments and perform demeaning tricks for tourist’s entertainment. The lengthy performances were held up to three times a day and SanMeung was required to follow commands under the threat of a sharp “bullhook”. When not performing, he was chained to a concrete floor in a small, bleak enclosure, where onlookers often saw him swaying repeatedly in distress – a sign of the psychological condition known as ‘zoochosis’.
Since his recent rescue to Elephant Nature Park, SanMueng has become a calmer, more relaxed elephant, but still shows outward signs of the significant trauma experienced in his previous life. We hope that over time, loving kindness and care will bring SanMueng back to being a playful young boy.