A note from BEES

Written by Em. Posted in bees blog

Hello BEES Friends,

It’s been a little while since we wrote our last Blog…. Lots of  things happening here at BEES with the new elephants joining the program, World Elephant Day, Mae Jumpee’s two years at BEES. The BEARS project has also been very busy with new animal rescues, little Paan sadly passing away from suspected FIP a fatal and incurable disease, we have also been providing treatment to village animals and updating our rescues with their vaccinations, worming/de-flea and tick treatments as well. The 1st September we will also be running another sterilization day.

R.I.P Darling baby Paan <3 Passed from suspected FIP a fatal and incurable disease.

R.I.P Darling baby Paan
Passed from suspected FIP a fatal and incurable disease.

Mae Jumpee – Retired two years at BEES on the 16th August:

On the 16th of August 2012 Mae Jumpee was the day we moved beautiful Mae Jumpee by truck to BEES to be retired after a lifetime of working for the tourist trade. It has truly been an incredible two years watching her bond with Mae Kam and learning to just be an elephant, living up the forest life and grazing on lush greenery, chilling out in the grass fields and having the ability to play with mud, exfoliate and scratch whenever she wants too and swim and refresh herself in the creek and big river. We just can’t believe it’s been two years already! What an incredible journey and an amazing accomplishment to have provided Mae Jumpee with sanctuary and a place to rest and just be an elephant for two years already. We couldn’t have achieved this without the help and support of all of you, our wonderful BEES friends.

Mae Jumpee's first day at BEES 16th August 2012

Mae Jumpee’s first day at BEES 16th August 2012

Each and every day is always full of all kinds of ups and downs and endless emotions. It’s heartbreaking working with animals in Asia and seeing the cruel, harsh treatment and often pure neglect of animals on a daily basis. We work passionately to educate locals and tourists to guide them to use more mindful and caring approaches to the animals and act in the best interest of the animal’s welfare, so that the animals can have a better life. We feel in order to teach them to have love and respect for their elephants, we must teach them to love and respect all living things. In order to teach them to love all living things we must lead by example, also running an animal rescue and provide care not just for elephants, but cats, dogs, tortoise and local wildlife rehabilitating and releasing where possible. All living things should have equal rights and should all be loved and have the care and respect they need and deserve.

A tired and overworked elephant in Chiang Mai has pulled her cement boulder attached to her chain out of the ground. NOTE: This picture is NOT taken at BEES.

A tired, overworked and distressed elephant in Chiang Mai stands in her own excrement and has pulled her cement boulder attached to her chain out of the ground. NOTE: This picture is NOT taken at BEES.

As you all know we recently moved two elephants needing help, to join the project for rest, care and recuperation. We are an elephant sanctuary that provides an alternative for elephants and their owners to escape the city life and provide home and sanctuary to all elephants in need by replacing the income of the owner and providing a natural home for his elephant. No Hooks, No Riding, No Tourist Entertainment and No suffering, just having the ability to BE elephants. Many elephants are tired, overworked, injured and retired elephants that just need a place to have a rest and care when they are on a break from working in tourism or to permanently retire too and spend the rest of their days being elephants. The term of stay is at the discretion of their owner, although we aim to work closely with the owners and provide them with an alternative income and to give the elephants this life for as long as possible, ideally permanently.

Lush greenery = Happy Elephants

Lush greenery and a safe place to call home = Happy Elephants

We work tirelessly to educate, raise awareness and help to bring an end to the cruel reality that is animal exploitation all in the name of Tourist Entertainment.

Buying elephants in our minds is currently not an option, one due to lack of funding and two because we must ensure the owners are not going to use the funds to gor out and buy another elephants. We do not want to see another calf be torn from its mother and be imprisoned in a life of work. Often calves we are seeing today have been illegally laundered across the border from Burmese wild populations and enslaved in a life working in the tourism trade in Thailand. We choose not to buy elephants if we feel that the funds would be used to continue this vicious cycle and grueling trade.

Kham Mee and Boon the elephants that have joined the project on rest, care and recuperation are settling in well:

Already we love them both and it makes us smile to see them in their natural element doing what they do best, just being elephants. Just being an elephant is something that very few elephants across Thailand have the ability to do. We hope that the owner will re-sign the contract at the end of the two years so they can stay here permanently.

Kham Mee and Boon first day at BEES.

Kham Mee and Boon first day at BEES.

Let me share with you Kham Mee and Boon’s story:

Kham Mee is an elephant in her early 30’s she has already had three babies. One that was still born, the other that is now out working in the camps and the third Phu Boon her 8 month old son. Kham Mee has spent the last 30 or so years away from her owners and rented out to trekking camps and has been trekking for tourists, carrying heavy loads on her back. She is tired and has been forced to wear heavy trekking gear, her hind toenails have split and her feet abnormally shaped, likely to have been taken from her mother too young and not had enough calcium and with the added weight and stress has caused damage. Kham Mee is an Asian elephant privately owned and one of over 4,000 registered captive elephants in Thailand that suffer severe cruelty and exploitation all in the name of Tourist entertainment.

It is important to understand that the situation in Thailand is complex and due to many different factors such as tradition, lack of education and resources, lack of laws and enforcement and the main one being thousands of uneducated tourists coming to Thailand every year and unknowingly putting $$$ into the trade means we continue to see thousands of Elephants and animals suffer every day at the hands of humans.

 

A family unit huddles together in a camp in Chiang Mai whilst they have time together. Moments later they ripped aprt and chained on short chains or forced to endure the discomfort of giving tourrists rides. Note: This picture is NOT at BEES, it is taken in a tourist camp in Chiang Mai.

A family unit huddles together in a camp in Chiang Mai whilst they have time together. Moments later they ripped apart and chained on short chains and live in their own excrement or forced to endure the discomfort of giving tourists rides for hours on end.         Note: This picture is NOT at BEES, it is taken in a tourist camp in Chiang Mai.

 

Tourism $$$ are fueling the elephant and wildlife trade and ultimately the suffering of these amazing animals!

Kham Mee and Boon’s owner asked for help:
Kham Mee gave birth to Phu Boon in a trekking camp in Mae Hong Son. When she was strong enough around 1 month later, the owner decided to walk her from the camp back to his home village where he would keep her on rest and give her a less stressful environment to raise her calf. When the owner Poor Luang Mange, 63 year old brought them home after many years of Kham Mee being away, he realized he just wasn’t as young and fit as he used to be and struggled taking care of them. This was now a full time job for him, he slowed work on his farm and he began to realize that by not sending his elephants to work meant that he no longer had an income. When Phu Boon was showing signs of discomfort in his eye one afternoon after he was playing in amongst bamboo with his mum, Poor Luang Mange asked a friend who knew a vet in Chiang Mai if they could help to heal Boon’s eye. After weeks of treatment with no results, Poor Luang Mange was getting worried that the eye would never heal. He found Mae Kam’s owner Poor Luang Panuu one day and they began chatting about their elephants and Poor Luang Panuu mentioned that his elephant Mae Kam had been with BEES for 2 years now and he just signed another 2 year contract. Poor Luang Mange asked Poor Luang Panuu if he thought we may be able to help. Poor Luang Panuu said you should go and ask, I’m sure they would be happy to help.

He came on the long trip to visit us at the Sanctuary on a motorbike with his Son at the end of May and on the 3rd of June we took the long and windy drive to their village almost 70km away. We took treats of Mango, cucumber and banana for Kham Mee and had a good look at Boon’s eye it was not in a good way. As soon as we met Kham Mee and Boon we knew the owner needed help and we had to get Kham Mee and Boon the help they needed. We organized for veterinarians from TECC Elephant Hospital to go out and meet with Poor Luang Mange and assess Kham Mee and Boon and provide a treatment program for Boon’s eye. It was agreed the best thing for them both was to have some time in a quiet place to rest and recuperate where the eye can be treated and monitored and Kham Mee can finally have a good rest and have some time of freedom so that more serious health issues don’t arise in the near future. It’s certain more severe health issues would have arisen if they were kept in the stressful situation they were in, Poor Luang Mange had no other choice but to hobble Kham Mee’s front feet as she kept breaking off the trees she was tethered too during the night and raiding local farm lands. Making local people very angry and costing Poor Luang Mange the last of his savings from when Kham Mee was working in the camps.

Kham Mee and Boon in the forest in Mae Hong Son, with their owner Poor Luang Mange

Kham Mee and Boon in the forest in Mae Hong Son, with their owner Poor Luang Mange

Kham Mee and Boon move to BEES:
After having made a few visits to check in on Kham Mee and Boon the BEES Team had sprung into action and had finished building a small treatment area and enclosure for Kham Mee and Boon. We put out a call for help and a group of wonderful woman in Australia held a little fundraiser raiser raffle to raise the funds for the truck transfer, treatment costs and a medical treatment area and enclosure. Thank you BEES Australia Team and thank you to all who bought raffle tickets to make Kham Mee and Boon’s rest and treatment possible!!!

Dannielle Haylock from Australia was the lucky winner with ticket number FA0174 and has already accepted her prize of flights and a stay at BEES. Dannielle is already here and enjoying the forest life this week.

CONGRATULATIONS Dannielle! We hope you enjoy your stay!

The lovely Dannielle Haylock winner of BEES Stay 2014 Raffle with Mae Jumpee at BEES.

The lovely Dannielle Haylock winner of BEES Stay 2014 Raffle with Mae Jumpee at BEES.


Kham Mee and Boon arrived at BEES on the 18th July after 2.5 days walking from Mae Hong Song :

It was an amazing 2.5 days walk. The overpowering emotions we felt walking with Kham Mee and Boon was just incredible. Elephants can teach us so much. An elephants love for their family is so strong and Kham Mee without a doubt has eternal love for her calf and would do anything to protect him. On the 15th of July we hired a truck to transfer Kham Mee and Boon to BEES. When the truck arrived everything seemed to be running smoothly when all of a sudden Kham Mee panicked and let out a loud roar that made the earth beneath us vibrate and hurried off into the forest where she had been hobbled with her calf for the last 6 months. We think Kham Mee thought we were taking away her calf and she didn’t understand that we were trying to help here. To not cause her or Boon any more stress we decided it would be better to walk at whatever pace Kham Mee and Boon could walk and it didn’t matter how long it took as long as they where both safe and as stress-free as possible.

Burm greets Boon on his first day in his new home

Burm greets Boon on his first day in his new home

The first day they achieved more than we expected and almost reached the half way point walking down through the mountains starting just before 6am and getting to their stopover place just after 4pm. Kham Mee is a magnificent mum and loves her baby boy Boon so much, keeping him in close and stopping frequently for him to suckle.   Here is the video from the first day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjFg5sHEC54

Day 2 was incredible we experienced almost three seasons in one day, it started off quiet cool in the morning and then by 9am the sun was shining bright and getting a bit hot and steamy at midday the road was starting to get very warm and we were stopping in the shade as frequently as we could. Then right at the perfect time the clouds came over and rained heavily cooling the the road down and relieving Kham Mee and Boon helping them to feel a bit more cool and comfortable and bringing them strength to get to a safe stopover place for the night. Day 2 video is in the making and we will share with you in the coming weeks.

Day 3 started for us at 4.30am driving to their stopover place and starting the walk just after 5.30am. They had been tucked in a bamboo forest and had a lovely rest for the evening and where ready to finally get home to BEES, it was almost as though they could smell their new home in the distance. Getting home in the midmorning of the 18th July after three incredible days of walking up and down mountains through pouring rain and hot sunshine they made it to BEES.

Boon playing with his mumma in the forest. 'Come on Mumma, let's go!' says Boon.

         Kham Mee and Boon enjoy the forest life.        Boon says: ‘Come on Mumma, let’s go!’

Mae Jumpee and Mae Kam meet Kham Mee and Boon:

On the 19th July they were all released together in the grass field after having a good rest. Mae Kam and Mae Jumpee were sniffing the air and trying to figure out what the new smell was. They were both quiet hesitant and almost frightened of Kham Mee and Boon. When Boon approached them for the first time it was almost as though they had seen a little monster. Boon crept up through the tall grass and poked his head out to see Mae Kam and Mae Jumpee, when they saw him  they were startled, causing them both to run the opposite direction like he had frightened them. In the days to follow, they all seemed to stay clear of each other.

Then one morning they had a bit of a sniff before their walk and then they went their separate ways. During the third week Mae Kam was out grazing in the forest and Kham Mee decided she would take Boon to go Mae Kam and Mae Jumpee to try to be friends, whilst Kham Mee and Mae Jumpee were getting to know each other through sniffing and touch. Mae Kam decided she wanted to get to know Boon a bit more and nudged Kham Mee with her trunk and took Boon very gently with her trunk and guided him away with her very quickly, running quiet far from Kham Mee. Kham Mee ran to follow very quickly followed closely by the mahouts, Boon got tired after running nearly a kilometer and slowed down. Kham Mee ran and caught up to her little Boon and embraced him in her trunk, sniffing him gently to make sure he was okay and letting out a low almost angry puff and grumble, swinging her trunk towards Mae Kam as if to say stay away from my baby.

We think Mae Kam was tired after her attempt to take on Boon as her own and not being successful. She seemed disappointed she couldn’t have Boon and when she went back to her night area she lay down for about 45 minutes and wouldn’t eat, almost like what we believe were signs of depression. It’s important to remember that these elephants when they are calves were ripped away from their mothers, abused and had their spirits broken, they are not allowed to express natural behavior and often exhibit stereotypical behaviors (swaying back and forth) because they are chained on short chains and deprived of appropriate diet, natural stimulation and sociability, the life time of heart ache can cause phycological issues also and it can take time for them to heal and adapt.

Mae Kam was likely force bred, her first offspring was ‘still’ born and her second lived until he was three years old and just before he would have been ripped away from Mae Kam for training he was killed by a nasty bite from a king cobra. We believe Mae Kam tried to take Boon as her own as her behaviour was not aggressive towards him, she didn’t seem like she was going to cause any harm and she looked as though she was protecting him.

This to us, just shows the incredible memory of elephants and intelligence of these majestic and sentient beings that have love, experience loss, grieve and suffer from what we can relate to as depression, the maternal love of a mother and her calf is so strong  and the love they share between family units is what can be described as  pure love, hapiness and joy. They are so incredibly similar to humans when a child, a friend, a parent, a sibling, an aunt/uncle, a grandparent  passes, elephants similar to humans are deeply sensitive and compassionate beings that show emotions, shed tears and use touch and vocalisation to express these emotions which can be can relate to great sadness and even greive when a loved one is lost. It can take time, new love and friendships to help in the healing process, the pain and memories will always be there but like with humans, we learn to move on with time and through the help and support of our friends and family.

Mae Kam bounced back fairly quickly Mae Jumpee was close by and after her 45 minute lay down we offered her food and water and she responded well, she gave us quiet the scare. In the days to follow she was very quiet and didn’t seem to want to venture too far from the grass fields, she was quiet and it seemed to us as though she was depressed,  almost like it wasn’t that long ago and she had just lost her calf and was heartbroken. We think it may have brought back memories for her and feelings that over time heal and that she remembers her young and it’s difficult for her, like it would be for any mum who has loved and lost a child. They do say an elephant never forgets! Mae Kam was back to herself within a few days. It seems as though Mae Jumpee has taken a liking to Kham Mee and Boon and has tried to bond with them but if Mae Jumpee tries to get close to Kham Mee and Boon, Mae Kam keeps pulling Mae Jumpee back to her, almost as if to say she is my friend and you can’t have her.

Mae Kam and Mae Jumpee have a chat about the two new elephants

Mae Kam and Mae Jumpee have a chat about the two new elephants!

Mae Kam and Mae Jumpee are inseparable, when Mae Jumpee had to be trucked to TECC elephant hospital earlier in the year Mae Kam was nearly beside herself with worry and searched for Mae Jumpee every day and was so happy when she came home.

 

BEARS Animal Rescue and Shelter update:

There has been a lot going on in the land of BEARS, many new rescues since the last Blog and also the sad passing of our darling boy Paan. All the newest rescues are doing well. The tortoises are living it up on the wild picked mushrooms we are picking daily for them. The dogs are loving the mud and love to run and play in the rain. Our darling disabled girl Mollie loves to play boss and tries to chase around the big dogs and always wears herself out.  We will be heading into Chiang Mai hopefully in the next two weeks to the hardware store and to buy fencing for the new dog shelter.

Thank you all so much for following our progress and for being part of the building blocks of our little sanctuary here in rural Thailand. Together we can make a difference!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Kind Regards,

The BEES and BEARS Team xx

All Photos © BEES Elephant Sanctuary

 

A note from BEES

Written by Em. Posted in bees blog

BEES Friends,

Thank you all so much for your patience, it’s been a very busy time here…. When are we ever NOT busy BEES?? :) ….. The rain is bringing back all the gorgeous lush greenery for the elephants to enjoy, as well as lots of glorious mud! The perfect time of year to be with elephants enjoying them at their very best! With the rain also brings a lot of power failures, floods and landslides making it even more difficult to get onto the already slow internet connection here in rural Thailand!

Mae Kam has a splash down at the Maechaem river

Mae Kam enjoys a splash down at the Maechaem river

Sad News and an update on the rescues at BEES:
It is always with great sadness that we bring the news of the passing of one of our dear animals. It’s always so hard to find the words to speak when we lose an animal that is so close to our hearts. It’s also always hard to accept that they are really gone. With a very heavy heart we bring the news of our darling disabled dog Kao’s passing. Kao took a bad turn in the early hours of the evening on Saturday night, 5th July and passed away suddenly. We are all in shock and completely devastated, he was doing so well and was learning to trust again after he had been badly beaten and horribly abused in the village he lived in previously, leaving him with spinal trauma and no feeling from the waist down. He was so strong and determined, he loved his mobility wheels and getting rubs around his ears and head because he couldn’t scratch himself. We all loved him so much and will miss him dearly. We held a little burial and memorial for Kao to pay our respects to our amazing little boy. Love you always and forever Kao. R.I.P and forever run the hills of green in the meadows of puppy dog heaven, send all our love to all our beloved doggie friends who we miss dearly also. Thank you for being such a special part of our lives.

R.I.P Our darling sweet boy Kao

R.I.P Our darling sweet boy Kao. This is were we buried our sweet boy. We’ll miss him dearly!

R.I.P Kao, love always and forever! <3

R.I.P Kao, love always and forever!

Tiny ginger kitten ‘Ginnie’ rescued back in June is doing alright she was recently suffering from diarrhea, which now cleared up and was most likely caused due to having to have a supplemental diet, at this age she should still be on her mother’s milk, her badly infected paw she was suffering from when she arrived, was treated with antibiotics and cleaned daily and has healed and is no longer causing any discomfort.

Our gorgeous disabled girl Mollie is doing extremely well! She is now at a point where she is taking steps and holding herself up a lot longer! Mollie is walking! Although when very tired she still drags and sometimes gets her legs twisted, our darling Mollie is taking steps! How AWESOME! Mollies strength and determination to pull through has just been so heartwarming, when we found Mollie a little over a year ago, she had been dumped in the river during a big rain, its believed her previous owner thought the river would flood and she would have drowned. Thank fully Burm’s uncle was working on his farm when he heard heart wrenching screams and yelps, he tried to approach her, but cold and frightened she dragged her damaged little body away from him. He couldn’t leave her like that so he came to alert us of the poor little pups fate if we didn’t act quickly. We assembled our little team and searched into the night, at around 9pm we found her cold, wet and frightened covered in ants, we thought she wouldn’t make it! After getting her to the vets as soon as we could, a long 3 hours drive away, X-rays confirmed she had a broken rib, severe swelling and inflammation around her spine, it was suspected spinal cord trauma and the vets said it was likely she would never walk again. We have NEVER given up hope and although it took several months before we saw improvements Mollie has be going from strength to strength and we are so proud of her. Go Mollie!

Rescued dogs of BEES run and play on a walk in the jungle

Rescued dogs of BEES run and play on a walk in the jungle

All the other rescues are doing very well. Diana’s litter of kittens and Tigger’s little of kittens are doing very well growing big and strong. We have introduced the two litters together and they are getting along very well with each other and love to run and play. It won’t be long before they are old enough for sterilization and we will bring them in to Chiang Mai to have it done or organize for the vets to come out to BEES again.

Cheeky kitten Leo

Cheeky kitten Leo exploring the gardens at BEES


The elephants of Thailand need our help now! We MUST come together to help create a positive and sustainable future for the elephants.

Update on privately owned elephants Kham Mee and Baby Boon who need medical care, rest and recuperation:
In the last BLOG we wrote about privately owned elephants, Kham Mee and Baby Boon, a mother elephant and her baby that need medical care, rest and recuperation and we would like to move them to BEES temporarily. We can’t travel 65+km daily to provide the care they need at this time. The owner has contacted BEES to ask if we can help, he is very concerned that Baby Boon’s terribly inflamed eye will go blind if he doesn’t get proper care and daily treatments; he also has concerns for Baby Boon’s mother who is very tired and has uncomfortable and very damaged feet. Health concerns are a big welfare issue for these elephants and returning them to work greatly affect their chances of a good recovery.

Dr. Sak from TECC kindly made the big trip out to assess the health and well being of Kham Mee and Baby Boon. It’s been agreed the best thing for them both is to have some time in a quiet place to rest and recuperate where the eye can be treated and monitored and Kham Mee can rest and have some time of freedom so that more serious health issues don’t arise in the near future. Its certain more severe health issues will arise if she is kept in the stressful situation they are in, they both need a good rest. The vets have given anti-biotic drops for baby Boon’s eye and we are currently building an enclosure for Kham Mee and Baby Boon at BEES so they can receive the care and treatment they need here onsite.

The new enclosure is taking shape

The treatment area and enclosure is taking shape

It’s important for everyone to understand that at this stage if all goes to plan and they are come to BEES it will be on REST and this is NOT permanent. Ideally we hope that Kham Mee and Baby Boon never have to leave but the reality is we do not own or have control over these elephants. We hope that we can secure a long term agreement in the future but the most critical thing to achieve now is getting these elephants the help they need. We feel we can’t walk away from this situation, and we can’t travel the 65+ KM per day to provide treatments for baby Boon in his village until the eye has properly healed, it’s just not possible. The best thing to do is to move them on rest and recuperation so that if and when the time comes that they have to leave that they are strong enough to go and won’t have even more severe health issues in the near future.

After having endless discussion with the owner we have now got a time and date for the elephants to move to BEES and have agreed upon a rental period of one year with the hopes of being able to secure a longer term agreement in the future. All going to plan Kham Mee and Baby Boon will move to BEES during the week of the 14th July to receive the rest and care they need.

 

Baby Boon and Kham Mee on the edge of a road nearby the village forest they are chained in

Baby Boon with his sore left eye beside his mother Kham Mee. Note: This picture is not taken at BEES Elephant Sanctuary

Renting over buying elephants:
We have said it many times before and feel the need to put it out in the world again. We found that when other organizations buy elephants it can mean that the funds handed to the owner are then used to purchase another elephant, usually a calf that then gets ripped from its mother at a young age, broken in and forced into work. We are very careful not to contribute to further elephant trade, exploitation and abuse. It doesn’t mean that BEES will never buy an elephant, but we have seen and learnt from the consequences and problems that arise when it comes to making purchases of elephants in Thailand without having proper knowledge, care or experience. At BEES all we want to do is ensure positive change for the future and not fund further exploitation and abuse. By renting elephants it means we are providing an alternative for the elephant and their owner. The elephant can get the rest and care they need and a chance to enjoy freedom and the owner can still make an income to provide for his family. WIN-WIN

Chains: Why do elephants need to be chained?

It’s simple for generations there has been no other choice and their carers have known no other way! In trekking camps, Sanctuaries, Parks, Reserves, Conservation Centers nearly all elephants are chained to keep them safe and out of trouble. A mahout cannot safely leave an elephants side without securing his elephant. It wasn’t until recently that the movement of going completely chain-free for the elephants came about. If elephants aren’t going to be chained they need fencing or corrals built to keep them in and safe, otherwise they will raid people’s crops, damage houses and put themselves in danger of being injured or killed because they don’t understand destroying a farm land, can result in owners of damaged crops becoming very angry and causing harm to the elephants. At BEES we 100% support the movement to go chain-free, but fencing and corrals are highly expensive and due to lack of funding and support we are not yet able to make our dream of removing chains 24/7 for our elephants a reality. The elephants still need to be safely secured in the evenings to ensure their safety and the safety of surrounding villagers. During the day they roam freely until the late hours of the afternoon, roaming around in the jungle and by night they are secured so they are safe.

Please join us and help us raise awareness of our project and what we are trying to achieve so we can make all our dreams for the captive elephants a reality. By working together as a global community standing united for the elephants, we can do this!


If you would like to make a donation or sponsorship to support our work, you can donate via bank transfer to Thai or Australian Bank

THAI BANK DETAILS:

KASIKORN BANK
ACCT NAME: BEES ELEPHANTS SANCTUARY (BURM AND EMILY)
ACCT #: 419 2 35661 5
SWIFT CODE: KASITHBK
LOCATION: 45 Moo 4 Charoenniran , Amphur Maechaem, Tambon Chang Keung, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50270

AUSTRALIAN BANK DETAILS:

NAB
ACCT NAME: BAFA
BSB: 082-146
ACCT#: 848647725.
SWIFT code: AAU3303M
LOCATION: 690 Pittwater Rd, Brookvale 2100 NSW Australia.

 

Trumpets from the elephants in thanks for your support!

Mae Kam has a lovely soak in the river and says: Thanks for your kind support!

 Thank you all so much for your kind support! Together we CAN and will BE the change, to work towards a brighter future for as many elephants and animals as possible! Our work here will never be done and this is just the beginning!

Kind Regards,

The BEES Team x

ALL PHOTOS © BEES ELEPHANTS SANCTUARY

A note from BEES

Written by Em. Posted in bees blog


BEES Friends,

We are very sorry for the lack of blogs lately it has been a very busy time on the sanctuary and with very limited internet access it can be very difficult to find the time to post, let alone to find the time to write a blog. Where to begin?! It has been a while since we blogged, there is a lot to share!

We have had a very busy time lately with new volunteers, animal rescues, animals passing away, community projects, the abandoned temple cats project, a sick elephant, the arrival of the new truck, sick staff, celebrating our 2 years with Mae Kam, 2 years since BEES retired their very first elephant and the possibility of more elephants coming to join BEES and spend their days enjoying the forest.

Our darling rescued pup Bear passed away suddenly on the 13th May, he was found resting peacefully behind the tortoise house never to be woken again. R.I.P Darling Boy, We miss you each and every day, you’ll always hold a special place in our hearts.

In memory of our beautiful boy Bear we have created the BEARS- Cat and Dog Home and Clinic facebook page so that we can give the animals the best possible care and be able to provide regular checkups, we will never know what took our little boy but we can prevent things like this from happening again if we have the resources. BEARS is named after Bear but also stands for (Burm and Emily’s Animal Rescue and Shelter). We plan to secure land, build a cat and dog shelter and build a small clinic onsite, in the future we have dreams to build an animal hospital in Maechaem which will provide high-scale support to all animals within the local community, we can provide employment for local people, provide immediate medical care as needed, health checks and the big one….. you guessed it, population control through sterilization! With your help these dreams can become reality and we could be providing assistance to animals all over the district of Maechaem.

Happy Dances for Pooh:

A lot of you would have seen our poor old girl Mae Jumpee got extremely ill last month, on Saturday 17th May she started to go off her food, she would not eat, was drinking very small amounts of water and was unable to defecate. The BEES Team worked tirelessly to get our darling old girl well again, performing enema’s and giving natural laxatives, but due to not being able to find the blockage and time slipping away we had to act fast and call in the vets from TECC as Mae Jumpee was growing weaker, we feared she was losing the strength to pull through. It was difficult to reach the vets on the Sunday but luckily they were all back to work on Monday morning and after making the call, the vets made their way to BEES and arrived Monday afternoon. As soon as they arrived they assessed her and performed an enema this time finding soil and finding that it was part of the cause of the blockage, they administered IV fluids, metabolism stimulators, vitamins/minerals and anti-inflammatories and then they advised to wait and see what the morning brings. If nothing we would need to move her to the elephant hospital in Lampang so they could monitor her and continue to give IV Fluids. The vets so kindly stayed with us to monitor her throughout the night and in the morning when we found no pooh, they performed another enema finding more soil, administered more IV fluids and medicines and advised to call for the elephant transfer truck. Burm was incredible with getting everything organized with the local government office to get the transfer papers done and organized for the truck to come to move our darling old girl. All that we could think about was our sweet old girl and just kept hoping we could get her to the hospital safely without her collapsing, when an elephant is exhausted and falls down it can be very difficult to get them back up again. Thankfully, the amazing and fast work of the veterinarians at TECC having administered IV Fluids on and off for 12 hours before, gave her the strength she needed to travel the long journey to Lampang. Our incredible elephant truck driver Mr Wimon got her there in record timing! He is known all over Thailand for his fast response and great care when driving elephants. Our wonderful mahout Aner accompanied Mae Jumpee to the hospital where he stayed by her side until she was ready to come home. We reached the hospital in late afternoon on Tuesday and where met by the vets who immediately swung into action. Administering further IV Fluids, Metabolism stimulators, vitamin and mineral supplements and anti inflammatories. Performing another enema, flushing deep into the rectum with water and finding more soil they just kept monitoring her until the blockage felt like it had moved through enough to be in arms reach. The vets at TECC were amazing, by Wednesday mid-morning Mae Jumpee’s body had been strong enough to move the blockage through the rectum and was within arm’s reach, the TECC vets and mahout staff performed another enema, finally grabbing hold of the start of the blockage which consisted of very dry grass and soil, they worked tirelessly to remove as much as possible to help her to defecate on her own again. After removing approx.. 20kg of grass and soil, she was then able to pass her pooh on her own and successfully did so in the afternoon on the Wednesday! She is such a strong and determined old lady and she took everything with great patience. Mae Jumpee spent 6 days in total at TECC and continued to received post treatment at the hospital to help her gain her strength back, she returned home on Sunday 25th May and has been receiving daily medications to help her body to heal. Mae Kam had missed her so much and their reunion was just beautiful a snipit was shared on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFMBI4pfEZE

 

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Mae Kam enjoying just being an elephant!

 

BEES celebrates 2 years with elephants and 2 years retirement for Mae Kam:

What an incredible journey it has been. There have been good times and bad, tears of joy and great sadness, the animal cruelty can be beyond words and so heartbreaking, we still today face huge struggles due to lack of funding and support, in the beginning we had great troubles with staff coming and going making it very difficult to move forward, friends came and went, now we have wonderful friends and supporters who have come together and are helping us to create something special for more elephants to enjoy, we now have our own beautiful little network of people and are building great relationships with our staff and local community. When we first started BEES the local people had their concerns about freeing the elephants in the local area and thought that it would be very dangerous and were afraid that they would be in danger, because they had images of running into elephants on the loose. It was only until they saw with their own eyes when bringing the elephants to live here and have the ability to be elephants that they began to have understanding of what we were trying to achieve. Each and every day we grow stronger because of the care and support from our local community and of course our global supporters, we are developing more and more projects all the time to involve the local community and help develop the local area, we couldn’t have come so far without the support of our beautiful community. By working together with the community it benefits everyone involved, most importantly the elephants. It’s a Win-Win situation working towards positive change!

In the beginning we also faced many issues with mahouts (elephant carers) they had all been trained with abusive techniques in managing elephants and would not listen to new ideas and modern ways of care. One after the other they either left or we had to ask them to leave because they just didn’t understand the idea of what it meant to treat elephants with love, care and respect and no longer force them to work! They were mostly men that had been trained by their fathers and grandfathers’; carrying out the role they were born into and they had learned no other way. It’s hard to break the mind set of people when it’s all they have ever known.

Where we are at today is not ideal and far from perfect, we continue to learn and improve with every new day, we have managed to find Pong a helper and assistant carer and our main mahout Aner, who has made a huge transformation from the man he was and the man he is now. Beyond the whisky drinking, cranky man, was a man that no one had ever seen, a kind and gentle heart, with a very sad story and a very broken life. Aner came to us when he was lost in his life and had spent most of his days drowning his sorrows in whisky. When he came to BEES he was able to figure out what he wanted in life, after being ripped from his family at the age of 13 and forced into the Burmese military he fled Burma with his friend to create a new life in Thailand, luckily he landed in the hands of a very nice Thai government official who took him in, got him registered as a Non-Thai Immigrant so that he was legally allowed to live here in Thailand and treated him like his son. One day whilst out looking for work he found himself with an elephant, they intrigued him and that’s when he decided he wanted to spend his life working with elephants, he spent his time training with men that knew no other way of life but ‘working’ elephants. Even though he had found work, Aner’s life was troubling him and he wasn’t sure what he wanted do in life and why he wanted to live any longer, so he turned to drinking. Aner’s story is heartbreaking and he spent a lot of time thinking about his family back in Burma and has never really healed from his ordeal. When we heard his story we had to give him a chance and really wanted to help him. After 3 months at BEES he had managed to control his drinking, was starting to work as a member of the team and began to feel accepted in our little family. He went from a cranky drunk to a kind and caring man, who works very hard and has really made a life for himself. Back in January he invited Cherry his new love in life, a lovely woman who also has a very sad life story, to come and live with him at BEES, Cherry already has children, he had met her and fallen in love with her back in November last year when he was visiting his Thai family in the North, they are now expecting a baby together who will be arriving into the world inthe next few weeks. Aner has been with us for over a year now and has really changed massively, already he has started a little family, got his life on track and has taken on the role of being a great carer of the elephants and being a father to Cherry’s Kids. We are so happy for him, he continues to learn and improve every day and tries his best to meet the needs of the elephants, he now has a great understanding of what it is we are trying to achieve and has been very supportive in the work that we do.

 

Wow… Has it really been two whole years since Mae Kam’s retirement!!!

We have learnt so much in the two years since retiring our very first elephant, the beautiful Miss Mae Kam. One thing we have learnt is to not easily trust people or let people with power try to dictate the way you work to help the elephants because it seems some people have personal agendas and huge ego’s that stand in the way of positive change, another is that the only way to truly move forward is to do everything you can to better the situation in Thailand and not make it worse. By working together with people/organizations who put the welfare of elephants and animals first is the only way to move forward. We have found that when other organizations buy elephants it can mean that the funds are used to purchase another elephant, usually a calf that then gets ripped from its mother at a young age and forced into work. We are very careful not to contribute to further trade, it doesn’t mean that BEES will never buy an elephant but we have seen and learnt from other peoples mistakes and the consequences when it comes to making purchases of elephants in Thailand without doing their homework first, all we want to do is ensure positive change for the future and not fund further exploitation and abuse. It is only through EDUCATION and providing alternatives for elephants and their owners that we can make change! Currently there are 4,000+ registered captive elephants in Thailand, most of which are suffering from overwork, abuse and exploitation, working for tourism and entertainment. The people that own these elephants know no other way, this has been their way of life, income and sustenance for 100’s of generations. Since retiring Mae Kam we can see huge changes in her, Mae Kam was a sad and overworked elephant, she no longer wanted to work and shook tourists off her back, resulting in her being beaten badly with nails in bamboo sticks, she now has large scared bumps and welts around her bottom, scars that tell a very sad story of an elephant, that all she wanted was her freedom, to be an elephant! Her owner moved her out of camps and back to a small patch of forest above his farm land where he kept her for nearly two years, with no other elephant contact, just the comfort of a chain and food, he felt he had no choice, if he were to keep her in the camps he thought that she would be beaten so badly that she would give up. Keeping her out of work proved to be very difficult because he had a lot less of an income and he spent most of his time working long and hard days on his farm to make more money to survive and had very little time to give to his elephant, he had to work harder to provide for his family. There is no doubt in our minds he cared for his elephant which is why he moved her from the camps in the first place. He had no other choice but to keep her home, he had nowhere for her to go that he thought she would be safe. Then BEES came into the picture and he had an alternative, he needed help with earning an extra income so that he didn’t have to continue the back breaking work, on his own working on his farm to provide for his family. After joining bees his elephant is now safe, she lives a happy life spending her days just being an elephant and has the ability to interact with her own kind, her owner Panuu is paid rent by BEES and is now able to afford to hire workers to help him on the farm. Now, both the elephant and the owner live a better life.

From little things big things grow!

We need your help to help BEES grow and build to its full potential providing a home to many more elephants to come and helping to improve elephant welfare and making positive difference in Thailand:

The need to grow and expand on BEES becomes more and more urgent every day with more elephants needing rest or retirement. More owners are becoming interested in retiring their elephants from work and giving their tired, overworked elephants either time to rest or to go into a longer term retirement. In order to take on more elephants though we feel that we need to expand on our facilities, buy more land, build shelters and a medical hut so that we can provide the best possible care for the elephants and be able to provide a home for many more elephants to enjoy. We are still in the process of setting-up Non-Profit registration and are just a couple small papers off the Australian registration, but we have had many delays during this process and can’t wait any longer, as time is not on our side. There are elephants that need help today!

Poorly elephants need our help, we have been contacted by the owner directly and we feel we can’t walk away from this case:

On Tuesday 3rd June we went on a research trip through Mae Hong Son, a few times now we have been contacted by Mae Kam’s owner who has said that there is an owner that needs help and has two elephants that need care, rest and recuperation. On Monday the owner of these elephants, drove all the way out to BEES on approx 70km journey to tell us about his elephants and has asked us if we can provide a home for his mother elephant Kham Mee 33 years old and her 6 month old baby boy Boon for a rest period of up to one year and then the possibility of longer term at the end of the contract. He has been keeping them chained up in the forest after he moved them back to his home district after the baby was born 6 months ago. Because Kham Mee has been very weak since the birth of the baby and is suffering from damaged and uncomfortable feet, the owner feels it would be best not to work her at this time. But it seems he is struggling without the extra income and may need to return her to work sooner if he has no other choice. Health concerns are a big welfare issue for this mother and her baby at this time. There are serious concerns for the baby as he is suffering from a severe eye infection and needs ongoing treatment to try and avoid full loss of sight in the left eye. The mother has very badly cracked nails in both hind feet on the middle nails and could desperately use some foot work to avoid serious troubles in the not too far away future, if she is forced to return to work or left chained in the forest she could easily damage her feet further, possibly causing infection, a veterinarian will need to be called in to assess the mothers feet and the eye of the youngster to advise a treatment program for both elephants.

The owner came to us to ask for help with treatments but also because he is having trouble providing for his family without the extra income. After meeting the owners and going out to see the elephants and assessing the situation ourselves, we feel it would be best if they were moved to BEES on rest, to receive treatment instead of leaving them like this only to suffer even more in the nearby future.

If they are to move to BEES it will be temporarily in the hopes of securing a more long term agreement in the future. Ideally we hope at the end of the contractual period that we can persuade the owner to keep them here and out of work. We feel that after seeing these elephants and knowing about their situation that we can’t walk away and leave them to deteriorate even further. We will do everything we can to improve their livelihoods and hopefully to persuade the owner that giving them their freedom is the right thing to do, but we must all remember at the end of the day we do not own these elephants and we dont have the final say.

Kham Mee has very cracked nails

If they do move to BEES to receive treatment we will need to build an enclosure for the mother and baby and a small medical hut and treatment area so that they can both receive treatments. We have been in discussions with the owner and he is very keen to move his elephants to BEES as soon as possible so that the baby in particular can receive antibiotic treatments for his very sore eye to try and avoid the eye going completely blind and the mother can rest, recuperate and have her feet seen to. We have been in negotiations with him this week to try and extend the time of the contract but don’t want to push too many buttons, the fact that he has come to us to ask for help is a great start. We do really hope that any elephants that come into our care are permanent but the reality is, it is up to the owner.

Baby Boon’s terribly uncomfortable eye 

Could you walk away if new you could help to improve their health so that if they have to return to work that they would not be suffering from serious health issues?

Let’s hope the owner makes the right decision to move them on rest instead of back to work, it would be a terrible mistake and very stressful for them both. They need to be moved so we can get Kham Mee and Baby Boon back to good health!

If you would like to make a donation to support our work you can donate via Karyn Steele’s Fundraiser for BEES via PayPal by enetering Beesfundraiser@hotmail.com or via bank transfer to Thai or Australian Bank

THAI BANK DETAILS:

KASIKORN BANK

ACCT NAME: BEES ELEPHANTS SANCTUARY (BURM AND EMILY)

ACCT #: 419 2 35661 5

SWIFT CODE: KASITHBK

LOCATION: 45 Moo 4 Charoenniran , Amphur Maechaem, Tambon Chang Keung, Chiang Mai, Thailand50270

AUSTRALIAN BANK DETAILS:

NAB

ACCT NAME: BAFA

BSB: 082-146

ACCT#: 848647725.

SWIFT code: AAU3303M

LOCATION: 690 Pittwater Rd, Brookvale 2100 NSW Australia.

We are just a small organization trying to better the lives of the elephants, animals and the local community so that we can make a positive impact for the future. Everthing that we do, we do because we do because we are passionate about improving the welfare of the elephants and animals and making positive change.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog, for your kindness and support.

On behalf of the elephants and animals, Thank You all for being a voice, by working together we CAN make a difference!

With lots of ele love from

Emily, Burm and the Elephants xxx

ALL PHOTO’S  copyright BEES ELEPHANT SANCTUARY

A note from Emily

Written by Em. Posted in bees blog

Dear BEES Friends,

WOW we have had an incredible month of highs and lows here at BEES!

Mae Kam looking pretty!

Mae Kam looking pretty!

 In the last Blog you heard a little bit about the Australian film crew being here at BEES for 3 magical days of filming the elephants and interviewing Burm and I. We are very excited for this to be released later in the year, but for now it still is top secret. We hope it will bring great awareness for the elephants and BEES projects but as we mentioned before they weren’t just here for the elephants!.

On Sunday 23rd I returned to Thailand after 12 days of Non-Stop elephant talk! Whilst in Australia with the wonderful help of my Mother Celia wecompleted the first load of  paperwork to apply for Non-Profit Charity status and put in the application which is now under consideration by the Australian government. Fingers Crossed we will be an up and running non-profit soon!!!

On the 20th February I was interviewed by Andrew Priestly a Northern Beaches Journalist who published an article about BEES in the local Daily Newspaper – The Manly Daily and online in the Daily Telegraph. My beautiful little 84 year old Nana Cynthia organized this and I am so grateful for her loving and kind heart. We do hope that this little article helped just make a little difference to such a big problem. Elephants must be protected and we MUST be their voices!  

It is so great to be home with all the animal rescues, the staff and of course the elephants!

Dry Season:

The fires burnt right through the forest that the elephants graze in.

The fires burnt right through the forest that the elephants graze in.

It is well and truly into the dry season now, the forests are burning and on the 1st March we got quiet the scare! On the way back from a big long walk to Maechaem river we could smell smoke, the sky was black over the burning forest and it was right on top of the hill above BEES place. The Mahouts (elephant caretakers) took the elephants back down the stream to safety in a cool place with some greenery left to munch on until the fires passed. Shin (our student and great help) and Cherry (our mahout’s wife) rounded up all the animals to keep them safe. It was a very long day and we got the elephants back when it was safe to return around 6pm. The last few nights the hills surrounding us have all being glowing orange in different spots, the whole of Maechaem seems to be on fire right now!

Fundraising for the desperately needed new Vehicle – update:

The incredible Karyn Steele has been doing such kind and incredible work in setting up the fundraiser to raise much needed funds for the desperately needed new BEES vehicle. So far just over $4000 has been raised! Karyn has also been designing posters to be shared on Facebook and templates for collection boxes that can go in schools, offices, supermarkets, post offices and anywhere really where people may see it and like to donate. Huge Thank you Karyn again for your continued support and for just being an amazing friend of BEES.

A Special Thank you also to Renee Roberts for her fundraising ideas and trying to help with rasing the funds, also a big Thank You to Lori Sirianni who designed a great Facebook poster to share around to help with fundraising.

If you wish to donate please donate through PayPal by entering Beesfundraiser@hotmail.com

Running an animal sanctuary isn’t easy and I have to be perfectly honest, I am afraid that we can’t and won’t survive without funding, the fear and worry is constantly on my mind. Month by month we just get by and I hate to think what will happen if one month we can’t afford to feed our animals. Each and every single cent counts and makes a difference! BEES purely rely on donations and paying guests in order to keep the project going, we are in the process of being registered as a Charity Foundation but this take times. Thank you to everyone who is donating, we can’t continue this on our own. Also if you would like to support us why not become a volunteer? Please contact us today if you wish to volunteer, visit the Contact Us section on our website!

The ele girls grazing in the fields

The ele girls grazing in the fields

Together we can and already do achieve great things!

BEES and SANTISOOK Cat and Dog rescue are joining forces this month for a big Operation Sterilization at BEES:

In the last 8-12 months BEES has been taking on a lot more cat and dog rescues we can hardly keep up! Santisook and BEES are joining forces on Saturday 15th March to Sterilize BEES rescues and as many as we can from our local village. BEES and SANTISOOK share the same idea when it comes to animal welfare, to keep animal populations in control and to care for the animals that have been abused and mistreated and give them loving homes where they can enjoy the rest of their lives. 

For this Sterilization clinic we will be joined by Diana Dammery an Australian vet Nurse, a great friend and supporter of BEES who will assist us with this huge task! Diana has been running the ‘Sugars for Sterilization’ Event on Facebook for Sydney siders in Australia; she has been making beautiful old style toffees and selling them with the proceeds going towards the running costs of this Mass Sterilization. This sterilization clinic wouldn’t have been possible without Diana’s dedication and love for all animals big and small, she has raised the funds or the sterilizations and vaccinations for BEES rescues. Thank you so much Diana for your kindness and for always being there as a great friend, a lot of BEES animal rescues have lived through serious emergency situations because we have been able to call Diana at any time day and night to ask advice. BEES is located 2.5hours drive from the nearest veterinary doctors and clinics, without Diana we wouldn’t have been able to assist the animals to keep them alive before seeing the vet, we are so grateful for Diana’s help. Thank you Diana for being such a great friend! 

Rescued Animals of BEES Update:

Panda and Pai Lin the cheeky two!!!

Panda and Pai Lin the cheeky two!!!

We always expect the unexpected here in Thailand especially in the dry season. The weather has changed from warm during the day and freezing cold at night to boiling hot during the day and cool at night, soon it will be boiling hot during the day and night!! The little animals just don’t do well with all the temperature changes, the temperatures have changed drastically in the last three weeks and every year we see local village dogs fatally ill for different reasons, but most commonly dehydration and parasites because of lack of preventative and health care. This year the ticks are also really bad, every day will pull off 10 or more ticks from our dogs despite the fact that they get medicated flea and tick wash and preventative treatments regularly. Here is an update on a few of the doggies that have been unwell or were being treated for injuries. 

Rescued dogs:

BEAR: Bear was a bit sick whilst I was away in Australia with severe dehydration and was not eating well. Burm was able to give him SC fluids and put him on a cause of Antibiotics and now Bear is back to his normal self. He has also grown a lot taller and is very active and making friends with some of the other rescues including the cats!

Toto: Earlier in February Toto got into a big fight with a local village man’s dogs in the middle of the night which resulted in a large open wound from an aggressive bite from the other dog in left hind leg. His antibiotics where continued and Burm and Shin cleaned the wound daily until it healed over. He now has a very big scar, but is walking around well. 

Newest Rescue Puppy Robin: Has lost a lot a bit of weight over the last few weeks and also needed antibiotics and fluid injections to keep her hydrated,  we think it was the same bug that Bear had. She is very strong now though and we are working on getting her weight back up.

Milo (left) and Lucky (right) snuggling up together!

Milo (left) and Lucky (right) snuggling up together!

Pai Lin: Pai Lin also took a bad turn last month and lost a lot of weight again, her health was a bit more serious than Robin and Bears and she had to be kept separate from the other dogs. We suspect Pai Lin has a blood parasite and so started her on Antibiotics specific to treat blood parasites and she is looking a lot better, the colour is back in her gums, she is keeping hydrated, has an appetite, is starting to gain weight and is looking great! She also loves getting her bone shaped doggie biscuit treats!   

Son: The leader of our pack who got a severe wound which partly de-gloved his front left foot is healing really well. He finished his course of Antibiotics and the skin flap healed and rejoined to the top of the paw and is closing over, so not too much damage has been done. Although he is a very difficult patient, he did take all his antibiotics (unknowingly in food) and has done very well. He is no longer limping around and is walking normally which is great as we were very worried he had done some real damage!

Mollie our beautiful little disabled dog: Mollie has been doing really well lately. We still give her rehabilitation therapy daily. Massaging her legs taking her for walks in her walk-about harness that supports her back legs whilst walking a longside us. She is so strong willed and has such a playful personality. We just love her to bits. She now stands on two back legs when she is eating, sometimes one and balances with the left hind leg up lifted up. She gets around very wobbly earlier on in the days and then is dragging again by the afternoons. We have seen great improvements since her rescue and she keeps surprising us everyday!

Kitty Rescues:

Did you know??? Elephants eat roughly 250kg per day

Did you know??? Elephants eat roughly 250kg of food per day

Kittens Justine and Tracey are growing up so quickly! They are exploring more and more every day and love to snuggle up with the big kids Lucky and Milo.

Dani, Suki and Cocoa are the little explorers and come back home whenever they want good food or cuddles, but recently Tigger has started to explore a lot more too. Gizmo and Tigger usually go everywhere together and it is so strange to see Gizmo here on his own, all of these rescue cats are outdoor cats and until we can have the funds to build secure facilities they are able to wonder wherever they please. We worry about them all the time and spend hours out calling them when they don’t come home for 3-4 days. Mee Suuk is also known to disappear, but usually you can find her sleeping in a guest hut. Milo and Lucky are always snuggled up in the Managers hut and are very lazy in heat!

The little dinosaurs:

Hahn’s, Bubbles, Ronald and Shelly are all doing great! They just sleep all day, come out in the afternoon to get some sunbaking in and then off to bed again after some fruit and vege. Bubbles the Terrapin has been spending a lot more time in the pond on these hot dry days. He loves to swim and also loves to watch the little fish swim by that we have placed in the pond too.

The Passing of Poor Kratuu:

On the 4th March we received very sad news, Mae Jumpee’s owner for 68 years passed away. The passing of Poor Kratuu has left us at a loss for words. He was such a kind and generous man, he really loved Mae Jumpee and when he came to visit her the last time he ever saw her, he cried, he was not strong from his serious health problems, mainly from what we know it was an unhealthy kidney, but he said he was so pleased to see Mae Jumpee so happy, grazing in the field and living the way an elephant should live, just as an elephant! It brings tears to my eyes when I think, that was the last time he saw her, it was his last memory of her, which was about 6 months ago and he was on the way to the hospital and insisted his son stop on the way so he could see her. We went to visit Poor Kratuu a few times since his last visit to Mae Jumpee, taking him donations of snacks and small money donations to assist with his treatments. He always asked how Mae Jumpee was and said he would come to visit her when he felt strong. About 4 weeks ago he went back to his village to continue his treatments from home; sadly he took a turn for the worst earlier in the week and passed on the evening of the 3rd March at 72 years old. It was his dying wish for Mae Jumpee his elephant that he had been with him for 67years before retiring her to BEES to return to his village at least one more time before she passes for a Traditional Karen Ceremony ‘Mut Muur Suu Khwam, so the family could give back to her and pay respect to her’. Poor Kratuu has left 4 sons and 2 daughters behind. The oldest 2 sons will now become Mae Jumpee’s new owners. The family has said they don’t want to move her back for the ceremony right now, but would like to move her over the next year just for a short period of time 1-2 weeks. Poor Kratuu wanted her to live out her days here at the sanctuary, but wants his family to be able to pay respects to her and her mspirit in her birth place and to ward away the bad spirits and to bless her, the family and the village in which she was Born. In order to do this she must return home.

Sweet Poor Kratuu, We will always remember you.

Sweet Poor Kratuu, We will always remember you.

Karen people have done this for centuries and we have to respect this Traditional. All of the elephants that come to BEES temporarily or long-term for a rest or to be retired, if we are renting them, they are owned by someone else, if they are from Karen Hilltribe they will mostly likely return home to ceremonies every year or second year, we have to respect their ways and work with the people in order to insure a safe future for the elephants.

If we were to offend their culture how would we be able to get anywhere positive and be able to move forward, we MUST work in harmony with the people, focus on building strong friendships with owners and in the long term it will make the world of difference! We haven’t talked a lot about the ceromonies in the past because we had hoped that the elephants wouldn’t have to go, but even Mae Kam’s owner has also said many times in the last 6 months that he would like to bring her home for a ceremony soon because usually he would have done this every year before she was retired, there is no date for this yet and may not happen this year but if and when it does we will do everything in our power to ensure she is kept out of work and returns home to BEES. We believe in being completely honest and truthful with all of you because this is a Tradition and something we feel we must respect. These ceremonies occur once every year, it is a tradition and a way of paying respect to the elephants, to the spirits and blessing the village. Although we don’t want the elephants to leave for any period of time, the main thing to remember is at the end of the day, we have made a difference because these owners have taken the opportunity to entrust the care of their elephants in our hands to give them the freedom their elephants deserve, to take a much needed rest from from work, and most will still want to keep their elephants out of work and in Sanctuary in the future because we all have an understanding and built strong friendships!

On the 5th March we traveled to Poor Kratuu’s home, Mae Jumpee’s Village in Ban Huey Pakuud to pay our respects to him and his family, it was such an overwhelming feeling of sadness, saying goodbye to a man that was one of the first to gain an understanding of our project, our goals and understood what we are trying to achieve here. It was a very difficult thing to say goodbye to him, I had to hold back the tears and stay strong because the rest of the family were in his home grieving his passing also, all of them sad faced but no tears. I never knew I would be so affected by this beautiful mans passing, it really was so hard to say goodbye, I cared for him deeply and I’m so sad he is gone. No one deserves to go through that kind of pain and suffering. I will never forget him and his kindness, for entrusting us to care for his elephant, for giving us a chance and for believing in what we do. He had been with Mae Jumpee for 67 years before he retired her, he was 5 years old when she was born. They must have seen and been through so much together. When we found out about Poor Kratuu’s passing we went home and told Mae Jumpee, elephants are incredibly intelligent beings and have emotions very similar to humans. I think she understood what we were telling her, I could see the tears in her eyes. Looking into her sweet innocent eyes, I felt her blow out a deep warm breath of air onto my arm, I wonder if it was a sigh of relief and sadness all in one. Her

Mae Jumpee out on a walk through the forest and down to the river.

Mae Jumpee out on a walk through the forest and down to the river.

owner and caretaker for so long is now at peace.

Sweet Poor Kratuu, Rest in Peace our dear friend, we will never forget you!  

ELE UPDATE:

The elephants are really feeling the heat! Every day now they spend their time close to the stream or down near the river. Because the forest is all burnt it is too dry for them to eat too deep in the forest, we will now have to wait for the rain and everything to become green again. So we have bought a banana tree farm from a local villager, he doesnt use these banana trees and they are growing on his farming land. By purchasing these trees it helps the owner to provide for his family and we dont have to travel very far to find supplements for the elephants, in the past we had to travel up to an hour to find Banana trees. Now we just have to Travel ten minutes down the road and every day the elephants can enjoy sweet juicy Banana trees!

Mae Jumpee has been having coconut oil rubs on her head daily for an old hook wound (she worked in trekking for a long time and the hook was used on her head every day), scars like this take a long time to fully heal. The skin is very dry and sensitive and when she rubs it against some trees or rocks, it opens, becomes infected dries and scars. It is a really dry sensitive area and is always in the sun. The coconut rubs are really helping it heal well. With the coconut oil rubs daily and weekly scrub downs with a native vine that has healing properties, Mae Jumpee’s head should be much better in the next few weeks.

Mae Kam communicating with Mae Jumpee after playing with the tire she found in the river

Mae Kam communicating with Mae Jumpee after playing with the tire she found in the river

I think the heat is getting to us all lately! Last week Mae Kam found a tire at the bottom of the river bed and brought it up out of the water and kicked it all about all over the sandy river bank. She had such a great time, but it’s seems as though Mae Jumpee really didn’t like her playing with the tire and missing out on all the fun and so she let out a short low grumble and Mae Kam walked straight over to Mae Jumpee flicking the tire behind her and gave her a good long sniff and touched her bottom and breasts with her trunk, almost as though to reassure her that everything was alright! Elephant communication is so incredible!!!!     

That’s all for now BEES Friends!

Thank you all for your kindness and support, please continue to spread the word! Together we CAN and already do MAKE a difference! 

Kind Regards,

Emily and all of us here at BEES big and small xx

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