Thailand is famous for its elephants, and some people are using them to invite tourists to ride on their back, giving thrills and smiles in exchange for money. However, behind those smiling faces is an elephant being abused, destined to work as a trekker forever. Years passed, and animal advocates wished to break that abusive chain. One group was successful in literally breaking one, freeing a poor, old trekking elephant by the name of Khum Min.
Khum Min is a trekking elephant in Northern Thailand.
Khum Min is an Asian Elephant, one of the most endangered elephant species in the whole world. Ever since he was born, he was destined to work as a trekker and was living in a trekking camp. Unfortunately, instead of giving him a carefree life, Khum Min was abused by his mahout/minder in the camp.
Everywhere they go or whatever they do, the elephants at the camp were all chained, devoid of their freedom. These elephants grow old being treated like this, and it is painfully heartbreaking to know that these majestic creatures suffer such kind of imprisonment.
A group of individuals took notice of the poor elephant.
A group of people were saddened at the state of Khum Min and decided to get him out of the trekking camp. They gently tugged its chain, lead it outside, all the while petting its trunk to show reassurance.
They walked all the way to the release site in Northern Thailand alongside the majestic elephant, speaking to him with kind words to ease the elephant’s anxiousness. They reached the location, with Khum Min standing on a fresh patch of grass, surrounded by nature’s greens.
Breaking the chains of the old trekking elephant.
Khum Min, with chains all over his neck and legs, was busy covering himself with the mud he scooped with his long trunk. After discussing for a short while, the rescuers were then ready to set him free by removing the chains around him.
As one person was trying to remove the chain on the neck, another person was standing beside him, rubbing its trunk to ease the elephant’s anxiety along with the kind words, “…you’re a beautiful boy, aren’t you? You are going to live a life of luxury.” That was the easy part, but there were still chains wrapped around Khum Min’s legs.
He’s able to walk without being told
Eventually, with a little difficulty on one leg, they were able to remove every chain that entangled him. The moment the chains dropped on the ground, Khum Min took his first step alone, without somebody to tell him to.
It was a very satisfying moment for him and for everyone around him. Who knows how many years those rusty chains were on him? However, there is no need to worry, as Khum Min can be finally called free. He was then led to the other elephants in a remote village, hoping that they will breed to preserve their species.
Saving Asian Elephants
Asian Elephants are one of the elephant species that are in dire need of saving. They are victims of poaching and habitat loss, endangering their lives and their whole population around the globe. Additionally, there is only a rough estimate of 30,000–50,000 Asian elephants in the world, only a small fraction compared to other species.
Hopefully, by breeding them, these majestic creatures would slowly save themselves from extinction. Support groups like ‘Elephants in Crisis’ or ‘Elephant Voices’ so you could take part in saving these animals.
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