Sad News on Sivilai and a New Focus
It is with heavy hearts that we announce Sivilai the elephant passed away before her rescue—she was forced to work in a logging camp despite an infected abscess at her jaw, even after the mahout agreed with Elephant Nature Park (ENP) to release her. This tragedy demonstrates the urgent need to develop a substantial rescue fund so that Lek and the ENP can rescue working Asian elephants in need on a moment’s notice.
Sivilai’s legacy will not be forgotten—the funding donated to the Love & Bananas Fund by the GreaterGood audience was used to rescue Poon Mee, another injured working elephant in Laos.
Poon Mee has an injury due to a human-made stab wound to one of her legs which is now infected. Now at ENP, she will receive treatment. The stab wound injured her tendon, and she was forced to continue working. Without the strength of the muscle and tendon, the weight fractured her leg. As a result of YOUR support, Poon Mee is now safe for the first time. In addition, YOU also funded the rescue of Fah Mui, who is now at ENP in Thailand and enjoying her freedom.
“When Poon Mee was purchased in 2004, she was brought to do logging work in Xhiyaburee province. In 2013, an elephant riding camp leased her to carry tourists. Only a year after working as a riding service, she was injured badly by her mahout, who was upset and angry at a friend and then spent his animosity on Poon Mee. He walked to where she was chained, and with a sharp knife, he stabbed her right leg. The owner was not informed, and the mahout made her work in spite of her injuries.
“When her wound became swollen and infected, she could no longer walk. The owner brought a vet to treat the wound and give antibiotics. Her wound improved somewhat, but she was forced to work too soon, and not long after, her leg became very bad, and she was no longer useful for that business. The owner brought her back to the logging area. It has been four years since her knife injury. Sadly, Poon Mee will not be the last victim of abuse, as long as there is no law to protect them, nor will to punish.” – Darrick Thompson, Lek’s husband
by Jim Kober, September 4, 2018