LIFE AND LOSS AT FAE’S ELEPHANT HOSPITAL

LIFE AND LOSS AT FAE’S ELEPHANT HOSPITAL

Mosha & Palahdee relax on her mat at FAE. (Photo credit: Michael Wysocki).

By Michael Wysocki

Kammoon, a former patient of FAE admitted a year ago for severe constipation, has now left our world. Heavy rains at an elephant tourist camp proved to be fatal for Kammoon, causing her to slip down into a narrow ravine immobilizing her. The rains poured down and with no truck to help dig her out, time was just too precious. Now we can only imagine her story, and just try to understand her fate.  Bless you Kammoon and thank you for your presence here on earth.

After this tragic loss, and the rains gone for now, we enter a new day filled with sunshine and hope here at FAE. While Soraida heals and regains strength to continue her mission rescuing her “children”, the team stays focused on healing the ones within their reach. Motala and Mosha continue their rehabilitation and practice daily using their Prosthetic leg, I am so proud of you two. Ya’ll bring so much joy to the visitors that come from even across the world to see you. They even know of Mosha’s cheeky habits like turning on the water faucet on the other side of the fence and scrubbing her own enclosure. She loves her young mahout, Palahdee, and just seems so content lying there on her bed resting her body next to him, still using her lively trunk to pick at him.

All the Elephants here at FAE hold a place in my heart, but I feel the biggest connection to Pa Hae Po. He is the strongest animal I have ever known and it intrigues me. His desire to live is a representation of his species that I wish more than anything, would be recognized by all. One of the mahouts explained to me his life through acting. Chains wrapped around him connected to heavy trees working his way up the hill with moans that I can replace in my head with the live ones I sometimes hear for his pain. The attention he receives day and night from Dr. Kay seems to comfort him. He knows they are helping him and has learned to trust in the treatment. Can he tell the difference in his wound and know that with every antiseptic soak and every injection means life for him?

Researching and sharing medical data with other Elephant experts is one of FAE’s reasons for being. Visiting vets have come the last couple days to work with Dr. Kay and together they make their rounds visiting the patients, finding solutions and sharing knowledge. It’s a wonderful thing.  I myself have started helping with visitors that speak English. It reminds me of the days when I was a zookeeper in Australia and gave a tour everyday after lunch. Then it was more focused on educating on the species as a whole; here I get to tell the story of each Elephant. It makes me happy.

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