Ploy Thong had been a slave for most of her life. For the last 16 years, she served as a tourist attraction.
She worked in the circus before that.
But thankfully Ploy Thong’s days of servitude are over.
She was rescued by the Save Elephant Foundation and now spends her days leisurely roaming the grounds of a sanctuary.
Before her time on the sanctuary, Ploy Thong’s days were filled with toil.
She worked hard day in and day out while being totally blind.
“Ploy Thong is one more elephant that we decided to rescue. Both eyes blind, she transported tourists every day. Every day she was saddled early and carried riders until the sunset,” a staff member of Save Elephant Foundation told Daily Mail.
Since she was blind, Ply Thong had to use her other senses to get by each day and get her work done.
“She used her trunk to sniff the way while the tourist rode on her back. We saw her working while on the journey to rescue Bua Keaw, and began discussions with the owner to set her free,” the Save Elephants Foundation staff said. “Her journey to freedom begins.”
But things were very different for Ploy Thong at the sanctuary than they were for her while she was a tourist attraction in the Pattaya region of Thailand.
For one thing, Ploy Thong, who is estimated to be 30-years-old, didn’t have to work.
But she would also have to learn to make new friends. As a circus elephant and tourist attraction, Ploy Thog never got to spend time with a lot of other elephants.
This would be the first time in decades that she would get to interact with a herd.
The sanctuary was unsure how the rest of the elephants on site would react to her.
Not only was she new to the herd, but she was also blind.
So, Ploy Thong approached the herd cautiously.
At first, she was separated from them by a concrete fence.
She started by letting out a series of low vibrations before she approached them. This was to let the other elephants know that she was there.
She then walked up to the fence and waited for them to react.
She reached out with her trunk as if to offer an introductory handshake.
Before she knew it, several other elephants reached out with their trunks to happily greet Ploy Thong. Some of them even intertwined their trunks with her.
And at that moment, Ploy Thong knew she was accepted into her new herd and she would finally get to live the life she was always meant to live.
Ploy Thong’s first encounter with her herd was caught on tape.
It made for a truly beautiful and tearful moment which you can see in the video below.
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Source: USA TODAY