A mother and child reunion in Thailand proves nothing can match a mother’s love — and elephants never forget.

Baby MeBai was only three years old when taken from her mother, Mae Yui, and forced to give rides tourists in Thailand as part of the country’s trekking industry. MeBai was too young and small for the job, and steadily lost weight until she could no longer carry passengers.

That’s when Elephant Nature Park stepped in, rescuing MeBai and putting her into their “Pamper a Pachyderm” program. Elephants in the program are freed from lives of work and allowed to do what elephants do — roam freely, bathe in rivers, kick up dust and hang out with other elephants.

But the Park’s officials weren’t done helping the young elephant. They
tracked down mother Mae Yui at another elephant-ride business and talked the owners into retiring the mother elephant to their sanctuary.

Reunited after nearly four years of separation, MeBai and her mother recognized each other right away. They can now be seen nuzzling one another with their trunks and flapping their ears, apparently inseparable, in this video from ENP.

When she first arrived, MeBai was uncertain of her new, unfamiliar surroundings and didn’t trust people, but she’s starting to warm up to the tourists who visit and pet her.

“MeBai was nervous and wary of people when she first arrived at the sanctuary,” says a post on the ENP website. “But she quickly learned that her new caretakers had no intention of abusing her in any way.”

Owners of the elephant ride business are currently helping ENP to rehabilitate both mother and child so they can return to the wild.

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  1. Every time someone goes to a circus, whether it’s a big one or a roadside show, they should remember that the animals involved are kept from living a natural life. It’s as disgusting and shameful as it is heartbreaking.

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