Sappraiwan, meaning 'Jewel of the Forest', is a special and beautiful, fourteen year old bull, who joined the BLES family in January 2018, when he was donated by his owner, Mr Boon.
Sappraiwan was lucky to grow up with his mother, Mare Saitong, in a facility that homed other elephants. This is a rarity in Thailand, as calves are often prematurely separated from their mothers and sold on to the tourism industry, when they are just a couple of years old.
Once Sappraiwan became a teenager and sexually mature, the facility where he was kept, had to change the way he was managed, as they were concerned about the risk of inbreeding. This meant minimal free roaming time, which resulted with Sappraiwan becoming increasingly frustrated, aggressive and difficult to handle.
Since joining the BLES family, Sappraiwan has embraced the spirit of true sanctuary. It has been an absolute joy to watch him grow in confidence and to see him learn social etiquette from the other elephants. His mahouts, Boo Long & Boo Lor, have been central to Sappraiwan's turn around and all of us here at BLES are endlessly proud of them both.