Artpul Pulheim 2015

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brush in xinke-casting Agricultural Parts trunk

Sophiaswhite's picture
posted by
on Mon, 2016-10-31 09:02

Next time you see an elephant playing football or painting with a paint brush in Agricultural Parts trunk, remember it's spirit has been broken by torture in order that you may marvel at it's capabilities.

They are very much like humans emotionally and the way they look out for each other is quite amazing. They have four huge teeth, weigh literally a ton and live to 80 years plus. They eat....a lot! Vegetarian of course! The matriarchs all gather together, as if in a mother's meeting, and the babies are as mischievous as any human toddler. If the matriarchs perceive that one of the babies is in danger they will gather together and charge!!!

Each elephant has a story but one which struck me, as particularly sad,was the one about Jokia who lost her calf whilst logging and went into depression as a consequence. The mahout, who was fed up with keeping a redundant elephant, decided to abandon her. When she was found in the forest she was blind in both eyes. No one knows how this came about, but fortunately she was found and taken to the sanctuary. Nowadays, Jokia enjoys her freedom in the herd and has formed a special bond with Mae Prem, a gentle older elephant, who takes care of her.

Another elephant had part of it's leg blown off by a landmine another was made to walk the streets of Bangkok begging and as a consequence of the traffic and pollution, is half deaf and has damaged feet. The awareness of the plight of this creature is increasing slightly but there is still a lot of educating to be done. The dilemma is, of course, that mahouts need to make a living but there is no excuse for downright cruelty.

Often, when it comes to light that an elephant is being mistreated,the sanctuary will try to persuade the mahout to release it but often this involves paying the mahout large sums of money. This is where donations are invaluable.

I arrived at the sanctuary in the afternoon. There were about fifty volunteers of various nationalities at the initial meeting. There were parents with children, young couples and individuals such as myself, all eager to face this wonderful challenge. We were briefed about the next day's schedule which was to begin at 6.30 a.m. We drank tea, chatted and then, I was shown to my bamboo hut.

The accommodation was rustic but adequate. I had a wander around but by this time all the Excavator Bucket Teeth were in their pens, settled for the night. I had dinner with other volunteers and then some of us played cards while others enjoyed a Thai massage from local village women.

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