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Welcome Grandma Sopa the elephant to The Elephant Nature Park

We’re taking Grandma Sopa home. Another life retired from a life of onerous work. For nearly seven decades, Grandma Sopa has worked to serve humans. Sopa’s life path is not so different from other old elephants who have worked hard in various occupations. When Sopa was a teenager, her life of work began in earnest pulling logs from the forest. She labored in this way until she was middle aged. Then her owner brought her to work in the tourist camps. She resisted this activity, when tourists came to sit on her back. She would shake the chair on her back, making it unable for the camp owner to force her safely into the riding service. The new owner had to sell her back to a logging camp. Sopa returned to work hauling timbers across the border.

Eventually, she was sold back to an elephant camp in Chiang Mai to be used in riding again. She spent 10 years at this elephant camp. This place not only provided riding services, but it was also an active breeding facility to bring baby elephants for sale. Sopa was too old for that, and the owner sold her to her current place of work, a riding service in the tourist area of Pattaya.

During the COVID crisis Grandma Sopa fell ill, and was falling down many times due to fatigue, poor nutrition, and age. The owner took her to the hospital where she stayed for a long time. But treatment alone cannot make Sopa safe, nor recover to live for a long time. She needs sensitive care and proper nutrition suitable to an elephant of her age. The owner asked SEF if we could bring Sopa to her last home where she deserves to live freely and with dignity.

Thanks to TrunksUp who have enabled the campaign to save Sopa. Thanks to everyone who participated and contributed in the rescue of Sopa from a hard life to a safe home. We will do our best to make Sopa healthy again, and to be happy as she deserves.

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