Name: Pang Dow Naam Chok
Affectionately Known As: Pang Dow; Miss Lucky Star
Thai Name meaning: “Lucky Star”
Age: at rescue,’ in her early twenties’ (in 2010)
Personality: Since her rescue she is peaceful, happy, content, strong yet gentle, courageous, forgiving & determined to love (after all that this sweet elephant has been through she is such a good girl)
Formerly: begging elephant, trekking elephant, logging elephant
Former home: Thailand
Where Now: Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES)
Location: near the village of Baan Tuek in Sukhothai, North Thailand
Adopt Pang Dow the elephant
Perhaps the Most Devastating Story of Abuse and Cruelty One Can Imagine
On the day of her rescue Pang Dow’s entire body was covered in spots, a mystery to Katherine Connor (and her team of rescuers at BLES) as to what they could be. It did not take long to discover that the blotches were not only from internal parasites but from the stress that the elephant had endured for all of the days of her young life.
At birth Pang Dow’s left front foot was malformed and her resulting gait (Pang Dow has to walk on her ankle rather than her foot which causes a ‘dramatic limp’**) has seriously compromised her shoulder and her back. Yet each of her subsequent owners failed to protect her, rather they viewed her as a commodity to be tossed when her usefulness (to them i.e. the ability to make them money) faded away. Which is why at such a young age Pang Dow had already had at least three owners and the same number of jobs an elephant should never have had.
(As a baby she was a begging elephant then a trekking elephant/riding elephant who carried tourists on her “abnormal back”** though it was said that caring tourists began refusing to ride the elephant++ who clearly displayed her suffering, for those who cared to look. (Thank you, kind humans, who continue to refuse all forms of elephant entertainment including elephant trekking/elephant rides.) When Pang Dow was rescued she was toiling, carrying out her duties, as a logging elephant, though it is an illegal trade in Thailand (among other countries).
Pang Dow had endured constant abuse by her former (sometimes inebriated) owners; the Asian elephant was beaten when she didn’t walk fast enough, often on her head, and the tender area behind her ears eventually formed scar tissue where an “S shaped hook” had dug into them as Pang Dow was taken out on the streets to beg.
Pang Dow’s rescue was “traumatic”** and more than once the thought crossed Katherine’s mind to just give up. (When the caravan first started out toward BLES, Pang Dow became frightened. At that moment her former Mahout somehow jumped into the massive truck and onto the elephant’s back and began beating Pang Dow,’whacking and stabbing her’++ on her body and on her head. Katherine, in the vehicle directly behind witnessed this and, in horror, yelled out to the mahout to ‘Get off our elephant‘ and to ‘stop beating her‘++ which he quickly did & just as quickly disappeared.
Despite Katherine’s calming influence on her Pang Dow lashed out several more times during the long, arduous trip, destroying parts of the truck and even injuring Anon (Katherine Connor’s husband) and other BLES Mahouts when they tried to calm her. The caravan had to be stopped until, with great difficulty and after a long delay, a veterinarian was located and agreed to sedate Pang Dow.** Needless to say, everyone was exhausted when this elephant rescue had come to an end.
As Pang Dow was first discovering her new home at BLES it was Wassana who first approached the traumatized elephant to let her know she was not alone and it was Wassana who from that moment on doted on the young elephant.
Maybe Wassana sensed their shared struggles with a disability that would never keep either one of them down (Wassana’s landmine injury, and Pang Dow’s deformities at birth with her leg and her back).
It wasn’t long before Beautiful Lotus joined what would become “the world famous mini-herd, The Gossip Girls,” a trio of rescued elephants now living the life, as elephants should, at BLES.
Watch CC Video ‘Pang Dow’ PART 2
Images: BLES owns copyright to all photos shown: source elephantloverblogspot
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