Ьгeаkіпɡ Chains: Young Philanthropist Liberates Enslaved Elephants After Generous Donation

A pair of elephants kept as slaves for up to 80 years have finally been released to roam free in Thailand.

Boonme and Buabaan have spent most of their lives working in the logging industry and elephant-trekking trade, where they were forced to work until exhaustion while being bound by chains.

But after a major funding campaign, they have finally been freed from their owners and released in to Thailand’s Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai.

the moment elephants kept as slaves for up to 80 years were finally released to roam free in Thailand

Boonme and Buabaan have spent most of their lives working in the logging industry and elephant-trekking trade, where they were forced to work until exhaustion while being bound by chains

The rescue was made possible with the help of YouTube vlogger and filmmaker, Christian Leblanc, 23, from Canada. He helped to raise thousands of dollars to pay for their release.

Complete with a river and mud-bath, Boonme, 80, and Buaban, 50, now spend most of their time splashing around, playing and snacking on fresh fruit and vegetables.

It is a far-cry from the abusive circumstances they were bound to for decades.

Christian said: ‘The elephants couldn’t be happier now. They’ve both made a new best friend named BaiCha and as a trio they’re inseparable.

‘But before we freed them, they would’ve been giving dozens of people rides on their backs every day.

After a major funding campaign, they have finally been freed from their owners and released in to Thailand’s Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai

The rescue was made possible with the help of YouTube vlogger and filmmaker, Christian Leblanc (pictured), 23, from Canada. He helped to raise thousands of dollars to pay for their release

‘To the point where Boonme actually collapsed and had to be lifted by a crane so she could get back to work.

‘That’s when we knew something had to be done.’

To reach the pair, Christian and his team travelled by truck for 15 hours to a town called Surin.

The elephants were then immediately transported back to the Elephant Nature Park in custom made trucks, in a journey that took 23 hours.

The rescue operation comes as a part of Christian’s upcoming documentary ‘Black Tusk’, which is attempting to educate travellers of the cruelty behind the ‘elephant trekking’ industry that is currently thriving in Thailand.

To reach the pair, Christian and his team travelled by truck for 15 hours to a town called Surin

The elephants were purchased for thousands of dollars before being transported to the Elephant Nature Park in custom made trucks

Christian said: ‘Like humans, elephants are very social and so they show immense distress when they are treated as they are in the trekking camps and elephant entertainment parks.

‘You literally see them swaying back and forth and they will even let our cries of sadness and desperation.

‘It’s truly horrific to see but I’m glad I did because it led me here.

‘We hope that by showing people the cruelty that elephants face, we can help end the suffering for these elephants and pave the path to responsible elephant tourism.’

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