An elderly elephant who was forced to give rides to tourists and was chained by the side of a road has finally found his soul mate after moving to his forever home.
The huge animal, called the Sow, has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years, having originally been a logging elephant.
Before being moved to her current sanctuary in southern Thailand, she was chained to the side of the road when she was not carrying tourists.
Now that he was 55, he was at risk of starvation because his teeth had deteriorated so badly that he could not grind his food.
But ever since she moved into her home forever, she̵
Sow, described as “friendly,” was transferred to the Following Giants sanctuary last year after years of mistreatment.
George White, of the World Animal Protection charity, told Mirror Online: “Sow and Jahn have a deep bond, having been friends for the past 30 years.
“They met through their time together in logging, tourist camps, and off-season rest periods.
“When Sow and Jahn reunited at Following Giants, they were delighted to see each other again.
“Their joy of being able to spend time together is evident through their continuous tactile interactions and vocalizations.
“Now able to socialize with each other whenever they want, Jahn and Sow can spend many more years enjoying each other’s company.”
Due to the deterioration of her teeth, Sow was unable to eat properly and worried vets saw that she was getting very thin.
George said: “Once the last set of older elephant’s teeth are no longer sharp, they can’t eat the range of food they need.
“Lack of food puts them at risk of starvation and malnutrition, or problems with large pieces getting stuck in their digestive system.
“Because Sow is an elderly elephant, he’s on his last set of molars and they have deteriorated.
“As a result, she was struggling to eat a large and abundant diet and had become very lean.”
Thankfully, now that his food is ground, Sow enjoys a diet of pineapple leaves, sugar cane, salt, and pelleted food.
David Owen, World Animal Protection consultant at Following Giants, said, “It has already made a difference to his personality and health.
“She has a lot more energy, she looks much fuller, her skin also looks better.”
The charity warns that with the collapse of tourism due to the Covid-19 crisis, centers that support elephants are in grave danger.
In a statement, it reads: “Elephant friendly locations allow tourists to observe elephants feeding, grazing and socializing with each other on their own terms.
“But due to the coronavirus pandemic, tourism in Thailand has plummeted, putting the lives of captive elephants in grave danger.”