The elephant Sao Noi spent large parts of her life working at elephant camps in Thailand. Her job was to carry tourists around all day every day, which took a toll on both her mental and physical health. But last month, she was finally able to rest.
After many long years giving tourists rides in Thailand, elephant Sao Noi was rescued from this hell last month. She was taken to Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES), a place in northern Thailand that provides a safe and natural home for rescued and retired Thai elephants.
Sao Noi, who was in her 60s, quickly made many new friends, but perhaps her greatest joy was being able to enjoy the outdoors without having to work.
Unfortunately, the years of carrying tourists around left their mark on Sao Noi’s body and her skeleton became too weak to hold herself up. Although she collapsed and fell ill, at least she had her new best friend, Boon Thong, by her side.
When Sao Noi finally passed away, she was surrounded by love.
“With her eyes closed, she let out a deep and long purr… I sat with her, stroking her and told her over and over how very loved she was. I closed my eyes and listened to everything she was listening to,” BLES wrote in a blog post.
After she passed away, Sao Noi was buried in the same forest that she loved so much during her final days on earth. Her grave was filled with fruit and flowers, and monks came by to bless her body.
“Sao Noi is no longer trapped in this life that wore down her body and broke her spirit,” wrote BLES.
But she will certainly be missed. Rest in peace, Sao Noi.
No animal should be forced to live its life in captivity. Thankfully, Sao Noi got to live her last days in freedom and enjoy the beauty of life before she passed.
Please share Sao Noi’s story if you’d like to honor her memory and bring attention to the abuse that elephants are subjected to.
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