Elephant That Carried Tourists for 25 Years, Now Lives With Caved-In Spine

Elephant That Carried Tourists for 25 Years, Now Lives With Caved-In Spine

We are ever prepared to travel if asked by someone, yet our traveling can be perilous or painful for someone who is forced to tread alongside us. For instance, years of giving rides to tourists in Thailand have resulted in a caved-in spine. 

Meet Pai Lin, a 71-year-old elephant, who lives with a caved-in spine.

Advertisement

Meet Pai Lin, a 71 years old elephant, who was forced to carry as many as six tourists at a time, for more than 25 years. According to the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), which warns against the exploitation of animals, Pain Lin was left with a caved-in spine and deteriorating health.

She was forced to work for hours with no break.

Advertisement

Elephant That Carried Tourists for 25 Years, Now Lives With Caved-In Spine

Amy Jones, an individual of the WFFT, said that Pai Lin had been suffering for a long time. Along with elephant trekking, she was also used for street begging and logging for many years. She was also forced to carry heavy howdah consisting of 6 tourists, with several frequent rounds in a day. Due to this, her spine had broken and she had many scars caused by pressure sores.

Advertisement

Pai Lin was rescued a few years back and since then she has been growing through treatment to restore her health. Jones said that when she arrived at WFFT, she was extremely exhausted, underweight, dehydrated, malnourished, and terrified. She was also suffering from nasal and eye discharge caused by a respiratory infection but no one cared for her. Her owner just wanted to make money out of her. 

Usually, elephants that have borne heavy burdens are left with sunken spines.

Advertisement

Elephant That Carried Tourists for 25 Years, Now Lives With Caved-In Spine

WFFT also provided some pictures of an ordinary elephant to compare with Pai Lin. Surprisingly, Pai Lin’s spine was sunken compared to typical dome-shaped spines of elephants usually. Across Southeast Asia, this kind of elephant exploitation is very common, especially for tourism. Elephants often spend a full day carrying a load with no break including its handles and up to six tourists along with the weight of a heavy howdah seat. This constant pressure on their bodies can cause their bones and tissues to deteriorate, resulting in irreversible damage to their spines. 

Advertisement

Furthermore, Jones said that she had seen several cases of the damaged spine in older elephants who have worked in the logging, street begging, or tourism industries. Carrying heavy loads, elephants often suffer from sunken spines as a prevailing consequence.

Pai Lin now lives freely at the WFFT elephant sanctuary.

Advertisement

Elephant That Carried Tourists for 25 Years, Now Lives With Caved-In Spine

After being rescued, Pai Lin lives at the WFFT elephant sanctuary and is provided with 24-hour medical care. She is provided with a proper diet and specialized supplements to help in her recovery. However, her spinal deformity is irreversible, and they are trying to lessen her pain anyway.

Advertisement

Jones said that it is very painful to see an old animal who has borne so much pain for many years of her life but thankfully she is in safe hands now. However, she is still afraid of animals but lives her life chain free and on her own terms. She is no longer forced to carry loads.

The WFFT aims to inspire tourists to reconsider their support for elephant rides and other exploitative practices by sharing Pai Lin’s story. 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *