Somboon (meaning "Perfect") Fast Facts:
At WFFT since: April 2007
Age: 32+ years
Features: Her ears are spotted towards the bottom, her right ear has a hole in it. Her temple domes have pink patches. She has a very obvious curve in her back and walks with a slight limp. She also has remarkably long eyelashes!
Story: Somboon is a female Asian Elephant, aged around 40 years old. Somboon was used as a begging tool, working on the city streets. Unfortunately, this is very dangerous and Somboon was hit by a car. Although it wasn’t broken, her leg was damaged, and she will never be able to go back in the wild.
She loves swimming and being scrubbed down.
Update (September 2013):
Somboon, as adoptive mother of teenage elephant Khan Kluey, shows a lot of interest in the training he is currently undergoing to allow the vet better access to his feet and legs. Therefore the WFFT team plans to start similar training with her soon.Unfortunately it’s not always good for her to share the enclosure with such a wild boy; during one of their play sessions, she got a small injury on her left hind leg. Luckily the vets were able to treat it, so it didn’t get infected. She used to have a big lump on her trunk, which has now healed as well. The vets are concerned that her arthritis might start to play up when she gets older, but right now, she is keeping up with Khan Kluey quite well!
So is she also going into her private pool much more, often twice a day. The volunteers encourage this by throwing fruit into the water for her to fetch, and she seems to enjoy it so much now.
Update (May 2015):
Khan Kluey & Somboon - Started in January, Khan Kluey’s new enclosure is soon to be finished. The construction staff is currently working on the last enrichments for the young boy to play with.
WFFT teams are getting ready to move Khan Kluey and Somboon in the end of June, giving them the chance to enjoy that whole new home together.
Update (July 2016):
Enriching the lives of the rescued animals at WFFT can often be challenging but is rather rewarding. The staff and volunteers try to create and implement many different behavioral and environmental enrichments to keep our animals occupied, healthy and happy. A team of staff and volunteers worked hard making a new toy for our young bull elephant, Khan Kluey, and his enclosure buddy, Somboon. We gave it to them, as you can see from the pictures they loved it, particularly Khan Kluey.
Update (June 2017):
Somboon is still living happily with her adopted son Khan Kluey, who is continuing to grow big and strong alongside her. We ensure the young bull and his mother get plenty of privacy from humans except for during feeding time.
Somboon particularly enjoys when her volunteers make banana balls. These balls are a combination of mushed bananas, bran and hay pellets rolled together, occasionally with salt and tamarind to aid digestion. When Somboon requires vitamins or medications her volunteers are able to hide them inside of the banana ball mixture, keeping her healthy and happy.
Currently sponsored by:
1. Franklin Hynes & Cai Fenton, WA ($100)
2. Carol Morgan, WA ($100)
3. Courtney Hobbs, CANADA ($100)
4. Anonymous, VIC ($100)
5. Sally McMillan, TAS ($100)
6. Caroline Box, NSW ($100)