When Chaba, a newborn elephant, first stepped into a little plastic tub filled with fresh water, it was unlike anything she’d ever known.
Chaba was born in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in a tiny concrete enclosure at an elephant riding camp. BunMa, BunMa’s mother, was compelled to do daily presentations for visitors, including riding a bike, drawing portraits, and performing circus acts.
If Save Elephant Foundation rescuers hadn’t intervened, Chaba’s destiny would have been the same.
“When our team heard about Chaba’s and BunMa’s predicament, we went to the camp to see what we could do to aid them,” Ry Emmerson, Save Elephant Foundation’s programs director, told The Dodo. “We discovered the mother and infant in a tiny concrete enclosure with little enrichment and the mother chained. It was apparent right away that they were both in bad health and need emergency assistance.”
In August, the Save Elephant Foundation’s founder secured the family’s release and rescued them. BunMa was afraid of being separated from her baby and refused to get into the truck, which the rescuers intended to take them to Elephant Nature Park (ENP).
Emmerson said, “We thought it was safer for them to walk to our refuge.” “They arrived at ENP after two hours of walking and were greeted with an elephant cake.”
Chaba was given her first bath after finishing her dessert. The sight of sheer joy on the 4-month-old elephant’s face astounded everyone.
“Chaba is a real water baby!” exclaims the narrator. According to Emmerson. “She enjoyed splashing in the water and then coming back to Mum for comfort. She now likes playing basketball in the splash pool while her mother enjoys some delectable fruit treats.”
Chaba and her mother now have the freedom to interact with other elephants, forage for food, and roll about in mud puddles.
But nothing makes Chaba happier than her small pool.
“She enjoys splashing around in the water,” Save Elephant Foundation posted on Facebook. “Mom takes a break from playing and relaxes for a minute.” She’s becoming more self-assured and learning a lot.”