From Chains to Freedom: Rescued Elephant Begins Joyful Journey to Sanctuary

Across the globe, thousands of Asian elephants endure harsh conditions in trekking camps. They’re trained intensely, often cruelly, to be calm enough for tourist rides. Fortunately, a remarkable escape story emerged from one of these camps.

Meet Gan Da, affectionately known as Darling, a 40-year-old elephant who has spent most of her life in captivity. Like countless others, she was likely subjected to “crushing,” a brutal training practice in these camps.

Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

According to the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), an organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating such elephants, Thailand alone hosts over 3,500 captive elephants and approximately 3,200 in the wild.

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Given these figures, it was indeed a momentous occasion when Gan Da’s rescue was arranged. An Australian woman’s generous sponsorship ensured Darling’s relocation to the WFFT refuge, promising her a long-awaited taste of freedom.

Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

Tom Taylor, the Wildlife Rescue Center & Elephant Refuge manager for WFFT, said, “Her owner wanted to retire her from tourism. A recent fundraiser in Sydney made her rescue possible.”

Gan Da’s chains are unshackled in an uplifting scene, and she embarks on her journey towards a brighter future.

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Although it’s hard to determine Gan Da’s emotions, a telling snapshot captured her wagging her tail enthusiastically as the transport truck veered off the highway towards her new sanctuary.

Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand
Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand
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Upon arrival, she was warmly welcomed and introduced to her new surroundings teeming with lush greenery and towering trees. Her freedom had officially begun.

One of her first treats was a refreshing spray from a hose. WFFT wrote on their Facebook page, “After her long trek from northern Thailand, Gan Da was eager to stretch her legs. She spent her first free day chainless, savoring various treats and acclimating to her new life.”

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Taylor added, “Gan Da is embracing her newfound freedom. She’s showing curiosity towards the other elephants. We hope she’ll make friends and revel in her retirement alongside other rescued elephants.”

Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand
Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand
Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand
Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand
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Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand
Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

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