An Elephant Never Forgets

By Kate Hassett

This video of a mother reuniting with her calf after three-years of separation, highlights the dark history of elephants in captivity.

The journey of MeBai and her Mother is one that has a beautiful ending, albeit with a dark and harrowing past behind it. The video of MeBai reuniting with her Mother two years ago went as their bond was instantly reinvigorated after being separated for nearly three years.

A testament to the adage “an elephant never forgets”, this story of deep and everlasting connection highlights the plight of elephants in captivity. MeBai was rescued from the Thai tourist industry, a horrifying exploitation of the graceful beast, whereby MeBai was forced to transport tourists for hours and hours, every day.

The elephants that are captured and sold into slavery, are often taken from their mothers at a very young age. Aside from the trauma that these elephants experience when they are forced from their mother, the calves are ladened with heavy riding equipment before their bodies are able to grow strong enough to support it.

As it is necessary for pacification, the elephants’ spirit and nature is broken, making them docile enough to control. This often leads to long-lasting effects such as depression and PTSD which elephants are capable of experiencing due to their undeniable ability to empathise.

The Elephant Nature Park in Northern Thailand is helping these amazing animals to find life and happiness after tragedy. Like MeBai and her mother, many elephants rescued from various captors have found solace in the amazing work the sanctuary volunteers conduct.

The long-standing trauma that these elephants have experienced means that they will never be able to be released into the wild. However, now they are able to maintain a semblance of life in the wild, as they live out their days in peace and happiness, in the comfort of a herd.

Watch the beautiful video of these two elephants reconnecting below.


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