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Elephant Finally Gets First Taste Of Freedom After 40 Years Of Being Forced To Entertain Tourists

Elephants are among the most intelligent and gentle creatures in the world.

Typically, they are found in the wild, especially in nations like Thailand, where they are prized animals.

Elephants have also been captured and chained for entertaining, and the Thai bull elephant Thong Bai is one of these sad animals.

Thong Bai has been pretty famous throughout Thailand for entertaining tourists over the last 40 years.

As he was a privately owned elephant, he has appeared in a number of Thai commercials, films and even weddings.

Lek Chailert, The founder of the Elephant Sanctuary, is an advocate for the preservation and rehabilitation of elephants.

He shared the story of the amazing Thong Bai on his Facebook page; he also commented:

“More than forty years, he has served people, and he deserves his freedom.”

The elephant is now being cared for by the sanctuary, and Lek brought Khun NuNa Silpa-archa as a guest there a year prior to the animal’s release to observe Thong Bai and other elephants.

They saw Thong Bai’s majesty and the elephant’s current circumstance, NuNa was moved by what she observed, and so she decided then to help.

“After she saw him, she began to seek a way to help him and to bring him greater respect and freedom,” Lek shared.

It was the turning point that eventually resulted in Thong Bai’s release and independence. Khun NuNa Silpa-archa made every effort to free the elephants from their chains, it took around a year, but she was successful.

The previous owners of Thong Bai and the elephant advocates met and came to an agreement.

The elderly elephant would receive an enclosure where he could live free of restraints.

The Surin Project, which strives to enhance the living conditions for working elephants, would include his new residence.

Thong Bai was released into the enclosure after his new home was constructed via community work. 

The famed elephant’s shelter was built with financial assistance from the Thai Beverage Company, with land maintenance being handled by the Surin government.

The house that has been constructed for him is a solid structure where he may freely roam in safety, free of work and chains. 

The enclosure is complete with a fountain, plenty of mud, ideal shade, and several walking spaces.

“The day that everyone longed for has finally arrived. Over four decades of shackles and at last release,” writes Lek.

“Thong Bai, the Legend of Surin, is free from his chains. We welcomed him to his new home today. He appeared uncertain and nervous of his new freedom and even shy to explore without being told what to do.”

The famed and majestic Thong Bai is at last unchained.

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Written by Joe Kahlo

After years of writing in the financial industry, Joe was finally able to focus his writing on what he loves, Animals!