Plai Tong Jai (Heart of Gold in Thai) is the tallest member of the BLES family. When Anon overheard a man complaining that his elephant was a useless waste of time, Anon asked to see the elephant for himself. The elephant, in reference, was Plai Tong Jai, an incredibly tall, handsome but dangerously underweight specimen. Flies buzzed around Plai Tong’s spine, indicating broken skin where the bones had protruded. In defense of Plai Tong Jai’s declining state, the owner admitted to logging him with an ill-fitting harness, which had caused friction burns. When questioned why he hadn’t treated his elephant’s wounds, the owner replied that it was a normal consequence of working elephants to have injuries.
Katherine and Anon responded to the urgency of the failing elephant’s health and sent out an emergency request for help. The Alexander Abraham Foundation contributed the money for Tong’Jai's rescue. When delivered to BLES, the examining elephant veterinarian indicated that Tong Jai would not likely live long.
Since his rescue in April 2007, Tong Jai has made steady improvements and maintains a healthy weight. Over the years we have seen a huge change in his temperament as he has adjusted to freedom and loving care.
We have recently celebrated his 10th year of freedom with us, and we could not be more proud of him - all that he has endured and the painful decades of abuse he has learned to put behind him.
The dedication of his brave mahout Anon has been crucial to Tong Jai's recovery and longevity.
Plai Tong Jai - a Legend .