People read stories all of the time about dogs being friends with other dogs. You also see many other articles about two cats becoming best friends. However, have you ever read a story about two elephants becoming the best of pals? If you haven’t, you simply must read on to learn about Nam Phon and Jele. These two elephants each endured a life of hardship. Now, those hardships are over, and the two are enjoying their sunset years together.
Nam Phon served most of her life as an elephant in the tourism industry. To fulfill this role, she was most likely torn away from her mother as a baby. Day after grueling day, she would give paying tourists rides through the jungle. Her ordeal approached slavery. In 2004, she was rescued by Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand. Unfortunately, her former captors found a way to reclaim Nam Phon through the legal system in 2010. After six more years of negotiating, Nam Phon was able to be rescued from her exhausting work once again. Now 55-years-old, she made it back to the sanctuary in time to meet her new friend Jele.
Jele was found by Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand alone in the jungle. At 60-years-old, she was discovered chained to a tree and left to die. Presumably, she had been worked almost to death by a trekking company. Thankfully, she was able to be rehabilitated at the sanctuary. Workers there quickly discovered Jele to have a feisty personality. Once Nam Phon returned to the sanctuary, Jele took the slightly younger elephant under her wing, and the two elephants have been inseparable ever since! A collection of pictures posted to the Internet show all of the details of this wonderful friendship.
You can see Nam Phon and Jele gazing into each other’s eyes. Their trunks are almost touching, and they look like two old ladies whispering to each other happily. In another photo, you can see the two elephants chowing down on a meal of hay together. They almost lean on each other, and you can easily tell the two elephants enjoy every minute together. It’s like two old ladies going out to lunch every single day of the year.
Notwithstanding their seemingly inseparable friendship, Jele and and Nam Phon continue to have distinct personalities. Jele is clever and always seems to be ready for a good time. She even once broke out of her holding area to get a little extra space! Meanwhile, Nam Phon is gentler and more relaxed. She is content to quietly wander around whatever space is granted her. Together, the two rescued elephants make a terrific pair.
Most of the day, workers can see these two elephants standing side by side. To show their affection, the elephants hold and stroke each other’s trunks. Many scientists believe elephant trunks are used to convey rich emotions between elephants. We can only wonder what sweet messages these two old elephants are secretly sending each other every day by touching each other so much! Remember, Nam Phon and Jele spent most of their lives under punishing circumstances. Few days brought them joy. Now rescued from years of hard labor, their hours spent caressing each other’s trunks and strolling around the sanctuary together must feel like complete bliss.
What do you think about this amazing story of friendship? Have you ever had a chance to interact with a rescued elephant? Let us know in the comments below. Afterwards, be grateful for the friends in your life. Like Jele and Nam Phon discovered, friends can turn a previously horrible life into a great one!