Starving elephant finds soulmate in her forever home after cruel life in chains

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Starving elephant finds soulmate in her forever home after cruel life in chains

An elderly elephant who was forced to give rides to tourists and was chained at the side of a road has finally found her soulmate after moving to her forever home.

The huge animal, named Sow, worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years, having originally been a logging elephant.

Before she was moved to her current sanctuary in Southern Thailand, she was chained at the roadside when she wasn’t carrying tourists.

Now 55, she was at risk of starvation because her teeth had deteriorated so much that she couldn’t grind down food.

But since moving to her forever home, she’s finally formed a bond with another elephant named Jahn – and the two are often seen locking their trunks together in a heartwarming sign of affection.

Sow, described as “friendly”, was moved to the Following Giants sanctuary last year after years of mistreatment.

George White, from charity World Animal Protection, told Mirror Online: “Sow and Jahn have a deep bond, having been friends for the last 30 years.

“They got to know each other through time spent together logging, at tourist camps and during low season rest periods.

“When Sow and Jahn were reunited at Following Giants they were delighted to see each other again.

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“Their joy at being able to spend time together is clear through their constant tactile interactions and vocalisations.

“Now able to socialise with each other whenever they like, 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 she was getting very thin.

George said: “Once elderly elephant’s last set of teeth are no longer sharp, they can’t eat the range of food they need to.

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“The lack of food puts them at risk of starvation and malnutrition, or problems from large pieces becoming stuck in their digestion system.

“As Sow is an elderly elephant, she is on her last set of molars, and they have deteriorated.

“As a result, she was struggling to eat a wide-ranging and plentiful diet and had become very thin.”

Thankfully now that her food is ground down, Sow enjoys a diet of pineapple leaves, sugar cane, salt and pellet food.

David Owen, World Animal Protection’s consultant at Following Giants, said: “It’s already made such a difference to her personality and health.

“She has so much more energy, she looks so much fuller, even her skin looks better.”

The charity warns that with tourism plummeting because of the Covid-19 crisis, centres which support elephants are in grave danger.

In a statement ,it said: “Elephant-friendly venues allow tourists to observe elephants feeding, grazing and socialising 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.”

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