It was unlike anything Chaba, a newborn elephant, had ever experienced before as she stepped into a tiny plastic tub of fresh water.
In a tiny concrete corral at an elephant riding camp in Chiang Mai, Tʜᴀɪʟᴀɴᴅ, Chaba was born. Her mother, BunMa, was made to put on daily performances for tourists, including painting, riding a bike, and performing circus acts. If the Save Elephant Foundation’s rescuers hadn’t stepped in, Chaba would have suffered the same fate.
Ry Emmerson, the projects director of Save Elephant Foundation said that when his team learnt about the situation facing Chaba and her mother BunMa, they visited the camp to see what might be done to assist them. The mother was on a short chain, and the infant was in a small concrete enclosure with no enrichment. They both needed emergency medical attention due to their bad health, which was instantly apparent.
The family’s release and rescue were mediated by the founder of the Save Elephant Foundation. The rescuers intended to drive them to Elephant Nature Park in a truck, but BunMa refused to board because she was afraid of losing her child.
They thought it was safer for them to walk to the sanctuary. They walked for two hours before arriving and were greeted with an elephant cake.
Chaba enjoys splashing around in the water and then returning to her mother for comfort. She now enjoys shooting hoops in the splash pool as her mother indulges in some delectable fruit snacks.
Now that Chaba and her mother are living in freedom, they interact with other elephants, go foraging for food, and play in mud puddles.