In the slew of stories about cruelty against elephants, this story of a baby elephant and her caregivers is endearing to hear.
Chabakeaw is a 2-year-old baby elephant who was abandoned by her herd, and found trapped in the mud in Bueng Kan, northeastern Thailand on April 4. Wildlife officers came to her rescue, and had been taking care of her for the past 5 months. After all this time, it was decided that it was finally time for Chabakeaw to return to the wild and go back to her herd.
But the little elephant was abandoned yet again, not very far from where she was released. So baby Chabakeaw had to be rescued again. That's when a video clip of her curling up in the lap of her human caregiver went viral.
Pichet Noonto, an elephant specialist form the IUCN Species Survival Commission, explained the reason why the herd rejected her again: she had spent too much time away from the herd, especially during her formative months.
We believe that she was not accepted by the herd leader which is a consequence of her being raised by humans for over five months. She would have had difficulty adapting to the elephant behaviour in the wild and been kicked away. We will take care of her while we plan her future, but sending her back to the herd again might not be one of the options.
This story of a baby elephant and its caregivers is a beacon of light among all the horror stories we hear about human cruelty on animals.