Most people know that elephants are incredibly smart. But more people need to know just how strongly they feel emotions.
Sook Jai is an extraordinary elephant. Now in her mid-70, she only managed to find freedom a few years ago. Her story is truly heartbreaking.
When she was young, Sook Jai was forced to work on the streets of Thailand as a begging elephant.
She went from owner to owner, through decades of mistreatment
Once she reached old age in her 70s, her owner realized she was of no further use to him.
Thankfully, the Elephant Nature Park learned of her existence before her owner decided to get rid of her.
The organizers pleaded with the owner to hand her over, and he eventually agreed.
After they took Sook Jai away from her cruel owner, the rescuers inspected her, and we were shocked at their discoveries.
Sook Jai was covered in scars and even fresh wounds; this beautiful creature had been treated cruelly for many years!
She was completely blind and almost all deaf, so they arranged transport to take her to a sanctuary.
They loaded her onto the back of a truck and set off, not after covering her up for protection.
On the drive, the rescuers began treating some of her fresh wounds.
Then they piled food into Sook Jai’s compartment. But she wouldn’t eat. She was still terrified of being hurt and didn’t want to risk eating in case that angered the humans.
They continued to treat her, pour water over her, make sure she was completely covered, and show her love.
At that point, Sook Jai began to realize something. She began to think that the new humans around her would not mistreat her.
Check out the video below of the full story:
Of course, after so much mistreatment, the elephant was still wary.
But as the truck continued to drive, Sook Jai began to believe that she was safe. And this belief made her react emotionally.
She started to cry real large tears, and the rescuers were astonished. This experience could have only been bittersweet for the elephant. After more than half a century of abuse, she was finally free.
Then Sook Jai began waving her trunk in the air as if she were tasting freedom for the first time, and everyone felt touched.
Then Sook Jai finally arrived at the sanctuary.
She slowly got off of the truck and began to splash around near the river.
For the first few days, Sook Jai stuck to this river, but as time when on, she grew more confident and began to explore the enclosure.