This is Mongkol. He is 61 years old and spent his life in captivity hauling trees in the forests of Thailand. His body is deformed and he has lost his right eye and tusk as a result of his cruel labors. Mongkol was rescued and now lives in Elephants World where he can now relax and spend his days in peace.
Elephants World is a self-supporting environmental conservation organization that cares for over 30 elephants. They can be found in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.
These majestic creatures have greatly impacted Thailand’s tourism and yet their sufferings have been overlooked.
These elephants inhabit the northern and western parts of Thailand’s forests but because of illegal logging, their homes have been destroyed. The effects have put these creatures on the endangered species list. Without their homes, survival is slim.
Animal rights activists have stepped up and through their combined efforts, pursued and put a stop to the cruel practices of those who enslaved these beautiful animals.
They are in better hands through the efforts of amazing humans.
And there are some who go the extra mile. A man named Paul Barton goes out of his way to comfort them with his incredible talent on the piano. Paul more than sympathizes for them and with his fingers, he uses music as a means to reassure these elephants that their past is behind them and that their future is safe and secure.
He has a soft spot for animals and it seems like he has bonded with Mongkol. His compassion for the abused elephant can be felt through a piece they share together. Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”.
It is such a captivating moment between man and elephant that one viewer wrote a beautiful comment.
“And for six minutes and twenty-six seconds, everything in the world was okay.”
In Paul’s YouTube video, he sits next to Mongkol and serenades his friend under the stars. It seems to remind Mongkol that despite the storied pasts between elephants and man, there is always the beauty of friendship and that no one will hurt him anymore.
He describes Mongkol to be “an extremely gentle, sensitive elephant who enjoys music, especially this slow movement by Beethoven which I occasionally play to him in the day and night.”
This is now Mongkol’s Sonata and rightfully so.
61-year-old Mongkol now spends his days by the river Kwai. He also gets to meet other people and under the care of his friends from Elephants World, he gets to eat and take walks and bathe whenever he wants.
Visitor programs allow people to visit and learn about elephants.
Paul Barton’s act proves that there’s more to signing petitions and donating to the cause. While noble actions in their own right, we can also sit and listen to the activists. We can visit and soothe these animals in our own way. People are allowed to offer their company and show these creatures that the world isn’t so cruel after all.
From 100,000 in the wild down to 2,000.
It was a man named Dr. Samart and his wife Khun Fon who founded Elephants World in 2008. Together with Paul and the collective efforts of others, they have grown and expanded to allow sustainable care for Mongkol and his friends.
See what a gentle soul Mongkol is. From the cruelty he suffered at the hands of his former masters, one would think he would be afraid or hostile towards people.
Elephants are very social and extremely intelligent creatures.
Mongkol is proof. He just listens to Paul’s playing and after awhile he exchanges a moment with his friend. And even if it’s true that an elephant never forgets, they may possibly choose to remember the happy moments.
Watch the beautiful moment between Mongkol and Paul in the video below.
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