Regular followers of our animal adoption program will have noticed the recent addition of another elephant, Boon Mee. 55 year old Boon Mee was rescued from a camp where she carried tourists on her back for 25 years, and before that, she worked in the logging industry for most of her life. She is blind in one eye and before WFFT rescued her, she was desperately tired and underweight. But since being rescued, she has gained weight and settled contentedly into her new home. She has a very gentle nature and loves her daily walks, but also has a mischievous side, disappearing into the bushes and foraging around amongst the trees all the time! But after a life of hard work, we think she deserves to enjoy her freedom, don’t you?
We’re delighted to say that within a fortnight of reporting Boon Mee’s plight to our wonderful followers, four kind elephant lovers came forward and sponsored her. Jayme, Maddi, Ali and Leeanne, thank you so much for your kindness, and for helping to give Boon Mee the life she deserves.
During the course of the rainy season, the WFFT sanctuary was hit by ferocious storms causing extensive damage to the enclosures. One of the worst-hit areas was Boon Mee’s shade hut. In the first of these images, you can see the WFFT staff working at great height to completely remove what was lef of the roof. They then had to replace the roof in its entirety, even repainting the poles. It certainly looks as though Boonmee is appreciating the effort!
Random fact: did you know that, just like humans, elephants can also get sunburned? That’s why they try to avoid the sun by standing in the shade, or by slathering their backs in mud, as a form of sun screen!
Did you know that each elephant costs at least USD $1,700 to rescue? There’s the cost of hiring a truck to transport the elephant to his/her new home, the cost of a vet on location to conduct an initial medical check, accommodation costs for staff who often need to travel to remote areas to pick up the elephant, plus the cost of food and medical care which is approximately USD $6,500 for a 12 month period.
A few weeks ago, WFFT identified an elephant in need of rescue, a malnourished, neglected female elephant called Nam Phon who is still working, despite her condition. Fortunately her owner is willing to hand her over, so WFFT is currently finalizing official transfer papers (before her owner changes his mind) and fundraising desperately to raise the funds for her rescue. As soon as sufficient funds have been raised, the WFFT team will transport Nam Phon from Phuket to her new home at the sanctuary. We’ll report more on this as soon as we have more news from our friends at WFFT.
Up Close and Personal....with our Elephants!
How would you like to spend a day feeding fruit to a cheeky gibbon, hiding food enrichments for the bears, unloading banana trunks for the elephants or taking a gentle stroll through the forest with Boon Mee, Nam Choke, See Puak, Duenphen, Khan Kluey, Somboon or Pai Lin, our very own sponsored elephants?
Well now you can! Our friends at WFFT now offer half and full day tours of their amazing rescue centre near Hua Hin in Thailand. Meet the animals in an environment in which they are cared for and respected. You won't find elephants carrying tourists or begging here....instead you will have the opportunity to help the volunteers shower and scrub the elephants, accompany them on their daily forest walks, hear their stories and see for yourself how WFFT has transformed these animals' lives! An absolute must for any animal lover, and of course all proceeds go to the upkeep of the rescued animals!
For more information, click here!