The journey of this elephant in captivity becomes one of happiness and rebirth after a heart-warming reunion.  MeBai was just a calf when she was sold to entertain tourists in Thailand. From performing circus tricks to giving ride to tourists, her health suffered due to her age and mistreatment.

After losing much of her weight due to stress and the seperation from her mother, she eventually couldn't carry tourists anymore. Soon after, elephant researcher Lek Chailert intervened and transported Mebai to Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary she founded. “Imagine her many nights filled with panic and fear, a child alone, injured and confused; for three and half years she stood in the rain and the sun without her mother; for three and a half years she entertained the human need for subservience,” Chailert wrote.

Chailert also managed to track down MeBai’s mother, named Mae Yui. She was at another trekking camp near to the sanctuary. Chailert spoke with Mae Yui’s owner and in a wonderful turn of events, the owner decided to retire her, which meant mother and daughter could be reunited!

After traveling over 100 km in four days, the volunteers finally reunite the pair and begin their rehabilitation. Chailert says MeBai is like a “little baby again”.

“She feels safe when she sleeps because her mother stands over her. She sleeps deeply and snores loud in the jungle,” Chailert wrote. “Some time she wakes up and tries to drink milk from her mother’s breast. It is such a beautiful moment.” Now safe at the Elephant Nature Park, the two elephants will eventually return to the wild and live free.

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