When Katherine announced that she would be rescuing four bulls simultaneously, she received an outbreak of claims that she did not know what she was doing and that this was going to end badly for the sanctuary. Bringing four bulls to BLES was a risk, but the alternative was leaving them isolated and chained in the forest or sold to a riding camp where they would be exploited to entertain tourists.
Fortunately, the introduction of four bulls to the sanctuary could not have been smoother. Sompord, Moo, Nwon and Ngor were all relaxed and gentle upon meeting the rest of the herd.
While we were proud of each of the new family members, 70yearold Ngor stood out to the team because of the way his calming energy affected the elephants around him, if Ngor was present, and relaxed, then all the elephants around him were relaxed as well. Bulls get a bad reputation for intimidating females, but all of the BLES ladies are enjoying there new male friends.
Ngor has a trusting and unique relationship with his mahout, Phi Dum, they have worked together for 26 years. There is a special, heart-warming sense of adoration in Phi Dum’s eyes when he speaks about Ngor’s journey to BLES. He insists that at the age of 70, Ngor wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for his retirement to the sanctuary, in fact, Ngor collapsed just days after being welcomed to BLES, and the experience and gentle love of the entire BLES Team got him back on his feet and back to foraging around the river, his favourite place to be, in no time.
Both Ngor and his mahout are an absolute joy to have at the sanctuary, and are easily the most photogenic duo at BLES. Ngor passed away peacefully 26th October 2016, a true, gentle giant who inspired so much love in all who met him.
He is sadly missed.