MeBai, a baby elephant torn away from its mother three years ago and put into a life of slavery in Thailand, enjoyed a passionate reunion with her mother, Mae Yui, after rescuers from Elephant Nature Park arranged for the meeting.
Baby elephants are said to be dependent emotionally and physically on their mothers for three to five years. MeBai was taken away from her mother at age 3 to work a tourist camp giving rides, even though she was young.
According to Elephant Nature Park, the elephant's owner moved her out of the riding business because of failing health and allowed her to join the Pamper A Pachyderm program at Elephant Nature Park.
Soon, Lek Chailert of the Elephant Nature Park discovered MeBai's mother was at a tourist camp more than 60 miles away at the Karen Tribe village and convinced the owner there to allow a visit from her kidnapped baby.
So caretakers of MeBai walked her more than 60 miles over four days for the magical moment when mother and daughter were reunited:
Elephants never forget.
"When Mae Yui and MeBai met, it seemed both of them were shocked and they held quiet, silent for half an hour," Chailert wrote about the reunion on Facebook.
"We all stand there silent with them and want to see what will happen. And then they began to talk, MeBai and her mother joining trunks, hugging each other and talking non-stop, 3 1/2 of catching up—it is a lot of things for them to share on their experiences."
The owners of Mae Yui were so touched, they agreed to release her from captivity, too, so both elephants are being rehabilitated together at the new Karen Elephants Experience, and eventually will be returned to the wild.
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