Boon Mee Fast Facts:
At WFFT since:
Blind in left eye, protuding ribs, protuding temple bones
Boon Mee was rescued from an elephant camp where she had been carrying tourists on her back for 25 years. Before that, she was forced to work in the logging industry. We don’t know much about her younger years. At the time of her rescue she was very tired and underweight, but under the care of WFFT vets and volunteers she has gained quite a bit of weight and is very happy and relaxed in her new home.
She has turned out to be a very gentle elephant, and thoroughly enjoys her daily walks. She can be a little mischievous during her walks, often disappearing into the bushes and becoming completely absorbed foraging around in the trees.
Update (September 2013):
She now goes out for walks with visitors on an almost daily basis; she enjoys the attention and the extra fruit she gets for it.
As she doesn’t chew her food very well (a dental exam revealed that she has no teeth on her lower left jaw), the WFFT staff do have to cut up her food much more. They have been training her to pick up food with her trunk again, rather than asking the staff to feed her (a trick she was taught in the elephant camp). This makes for much more natural behavior.
Unfortunately she is not a fan of having her nails trimmed, however it's really important to ensure the elephants have regular trims, so the volunteers will continue with the pedicures, and hopefully she will grow to enjoy the pampering!
Update (May 2015):
Boonmee meets Rung Thip - The newly rescued Rung Thip got our Boonmee very curious. As we traditionnally introduce the new girl on her second day to another of our rescued old ladies, Rung Thip got to spend a bit of time with Boonmee, who - for once - showed a real interest for her visitor, following her around the enclosure, visibly very inquisitive.
We hope in the future to continue introductions for Boonmee and Rung Thip to become good friends, we are waiting for Rung Thip to gain confidence in her new life of freedom.
There is now hope for Boonmee, usually solitary, to make friends.
Update (July 2016):
Recently Boonmee fell sick with an inflammation in her mouth meaning that she was too uncomfortable to eat or drink which is very unlike Boonmee who usually has a very strong appetite. Due to this Boonmee spent a few days in our hospital but she has now recovered after our dedicated team offered her 24/7 care. We are all extremely happy to see her wandering around her enclosure again.
Update (June 2017):
Boon Mee is a particularly food motivated elephant. At the moment she is thoroughly enjoying the mangos and jackfruit which are in season, snacking on them as they fall and roll into her enclosure.
Her volunteers have been careful to collect a portion of the fruit from the ground each day, to prevent her from over-eating and developing bloat. Having too much fruit available is a great problem for an elephant to have!
Currently sponsored by:
1. Maddi Voumard, VIC ($100)
2. Mary & Syd Reale, WA ($100)
3. Alastair Jacob, NSW ($100)
4. Kim Ribbink, WA ($100)
5. Rosemary Fry, VIC ($100)
6. Katrina Deal, USA ($100)