Meet Kabu. This beautiful elephant lives in Thailand, and for the past two decades, life has not been kind to her. Kabu has been forced to work endlessly, chained and wounded, but today, she’s not crying tears of pain or suffering — she’s crying tears of joy.
The struggle that Kabu has faced for her whole life is all too real for many elephants in Southeast Asia. Even after she suffered a bad injury to her front right leg that made Kabu crippled, her owners continued to chain her and force her to do hard manual labor, carrying heavy loads up the mountainside for years and years.
Lek Chailert is the founder of Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, and this week he trekked out to the site where Kabu works to have her released into his care for retirement. And retirement couldn’t have come sooner for Kabu. In addition to the horrible physical abuse she endured in her time as a labor elephant, she had two offspring that were taken from her — one was sold and the other was killed in an accident in the dangerous working conditions.
So after a long, hard, depressing life, Kabu’s life of safety was just a 12-hour journey away. As she was loaded onto a truck and carted off, she didn’t even know the joy that was awaiting her on the other side of this journey.
As the crew pulled into the Elephant Nature Park sanctuary, Kabu was greeted by the sound of trumpeting from other rescued elephants. At long last, Kabu’s chains have been taken off for good.
As Kabu settled into her new home, tears streaked down her face – and we can bet they’re not tears mourning the life she left behind, but tears of happiness as she let go of her past troubles and embraced the love of the folks at Elephant Nature Park.
Rest easy, Kabu. You deserve it. SHARE this touching story with your animal-lover friends and family.
These beautiful animals have such a capacity for emotion!