An elephant is one such animal that’s either captured or placed in a zoo, circus or camp or used by people for carrying things and entertaining people. Sadly, most elephants in captivity are Asian elephants, and the method used to break their spirit is heartbreaking. But unfortunately, no one takes the time to see that these creatures have to go through a lot of horrible abuses to become subservient to those who own them like commodities. This elephant was in chains for decades but when she was finally set free, her reaction was really heart wrenching.
Source: The Dodo
This elephant named Wassana was tied in chains for 4 decades and went through various forms of abuses. Wassana forgot the thought of ever being free again and the purpose of her life became just to serve her masters.
She was so badly beaten over the years by her keepers that it caused a serious infection. The keeper used a bullhook to hit her, which caused an abscess to form on her left leg. But the 46-year-old elephant continued being in chains and providing entertainment for the people of Thailand.
There could be a possibility that this elephant had worked with loggers before it became illegal in 1999 in Thailand. From there, her keepers transitioned her to a worse life in the tourist camp.
She was only free from chains when she had to give rides to people and tourists. She surely wanted to be with her own kind but it seemed impossible for her. Now even baby elephants are not excused from being captured.
There’s a traditional torture of crushing an elephant’s spirit is to ensure they’ll obey only its master’s command, known as phajaan, originated in South-East Asia and India. To the locals, the ceremony came about as a result of the tribal shaman’s belief that he could separate the spirit from the body of the animal, rendering it docile.
This traditional practice had encouraged people to use elephants just like a slave. For decades, Wassana carried humans on her back and did their bidding while always mindful that a simple slip up would result in some serious consequences.
After she was abused for decades by her masters she developed the abscess that she did on her beaten gray skin. But the masters of Wassana defended themselves by saying that if they didn’t do it; elephants can be dangerous to humans around them and can cause them serious injuries.
Years of being chained up, forced to perform tricks for humans and isolated it left her spirit broken and she had practically lost her will to live.
But the wait was finally over and Wassana was finally rescued and brought to a place where she could be safe. The Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand Organization got her out of the tourist industry last July and took her to their sanctuary where she could recover in a more suitable environment.
She is now happy and said goodbye to her abusive life. Now she can indulge in a rejuvenating settlement where she’s the one who calls the shots, and every human is there to make sure that all of her needs, physical and emotional are tended to.
Wassana has now become more active and sociable than other elephants there with her. She now has new friends and she looks happy. Meanwhile, PETA Asia and other organizations struggle to put an end to the abusive act of crushing for good.