She is now able to enjoy a free life at the largest animal rescue center in Thailand, where she is not restricted by chains and may engage in her natural behaviors.
Pai Lin’s spine, which should naturally be rounded and elevated, is seen in photographs to have caved in and sunk as a result of the great weight of repetitive effort.
According to the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), these physical deformities are common in elephants that are used for tourist rides. WFFT released the photos of their resident elephant Pai Lin to help raise awareness about how elephants can suffer as a result of their participation in the riding industry.
When utilized for trekking, elephants frequently spend entire days bearing the weight of their mahout (the term for the person who handles the elephant), large groups of visitors, and a hefty howdah (seat).
This constant pressure on their body can cause the tissue and bones on their back to degenerate, which can cause irreparable damage to their spines. Scars from previous pressure sites may be seen on Pai Lin’s back.
Pai Lin, who is now around 71 years old and is referred to as the grandma of WFFT’s elephant refuge, was saved by the sanctuary in 2007 when she was just a baby.
Pai Lin and the other 23 elephants who are cared for by WFFT live contentedly in the sanctuary’s enormous elephant enclosures. These enclosures are up to 44 acres each and contain natural trees, lakes, and grazing places for the elephants to enjoy. The elephants in rescue consume around 300 kg of food each and every day.
Also, the sanctuary is home to over 700 different rescued creatures, some of which include monkeys, rare birds, and even tigers.
The majority of Thailand’s domestic elephants are employed in the tourist and logging sectors, and it is believed that there are now over 3,000 domestic elephants in the country. Meanwhile, there are only around 2,200 individuals remaining in the wild, and they are scattered out over the country in a variety of habitats, including wide grasslands and impenetrable rainforests.