Nam Phon, an elephant who was rescued from the logging and tourist industries, passed away recently at the age of about 65. The sweet girl had faced extreme hardship in her life, but she was rescued last year by theWildlife Friends Foundation Thailand(WFFT). She spent her last moments surrounded by people who loved her.
She was born into a world where elephants were able to wander freely in the forests of Thailand. Unfortunately, she was kidnapped as a calf and forced into the logging industry - destroying her own habitat.When the logging industry got shut down in the eighties, the elephants were forced to beg for food in the streets.
When the tourist industry took off, and elephant rides became popular, she was once again used for back-breaking labor.Nam Phon worked in the industry for over 30 years. She never got a moment of peace, until she was brought to the WFFT sanctuary.She made many new friends and bonded with elephants and humans alike.
Unfortunately, her owner decided to take her back. Many elephants are only leased to sanctuaries because they can't afford to pay the owners upfront.The rescue organization negotiated with the man for years before he finally allows Nam Phon to get the proper retirement she deserved.WFFT said in a press release:
She gave us hope to continue to fight for their freedom, the years of abuse she had endured never dulled her light. She experienced more freedom on last few months of her life than ever before.
She passed away finally at peace with horrors of her past firmly behind her.
The sanctuary honored her memory with a beautiful funeral. She was covered in flowers and had gifts of fruit placed near her.
You will be remembered as much a victim of the captive elephant industry, as you are a shining beacon of hope for the many other elephants still in need of help. She has left this world and moved to another, her spirit is now free.
If you would like to donate to WFFT to help other elephants like Nam Phon, you can do so here. Also, keep in mind that riding elephants contributes to their suffering.
H/t: The Dodo