After the rains, baby elephant Soisilee brings a ray of hope Skip to main content

After the rains, baby elephant Soisilee brings a ray of hope

(CNN) -- Six weeks ago, the floodwaters sweeping down from Thailand's north reached Ayutthaya, a UNESCO-listed historical city that lies 100 kilometers from Bangkok.

Just one week later, the entire area was severely flooded. Shops closed, roads became rivers, temples and monuments were unable to keep the waters at bay, and people had to swim or use boats to get food and water.

One of those affected was Yvette Cagney, a 30-year-old Australian who has worked as an elephant helper at Ayutthaya's Royal Elephant Kraal for the past three years. She had to climb from her house through a second-floor window to escape the rising waters.

Death toll rises to 381 in Thai floods

But it wasn't just people and historical sites that were affected; animals too were under stress -- including dozens of elephants that had been stranded on top of the kraal.

Cagney and her colleagues were able to help about 60 elephants escape to higher grounds, and set up camp three kilometers away. Because of their fragility, about eight babies and their mothers had to be left behind.

Stranded elephants in need of food

But the initial relief of escape has subsided, and the lives of both the elephants and their human helpers are becoming increasingly difficult.

"I've been living in a small makeshift tent, right next to the elephants' enclosure, for about four weeks" says Cagney. "It's tough, but our real concerns are for the elephants."

The area has little shade, and there's limited access to fresh food and water.

"The older animals are particularly vulnerable, as they need a lot of extra care and special food," explains Cagney. "It's scary to think how long we may be stuck here. The kraal has been destroyed, so even after the floods subside, it's going to be at least another two months before we can get them back to a permanent home."

Yet amongst the pessimism, there has been one fortuitous turn of events -- the arrival of a new baby to the herd. Born just three days ago, Soisilee has brought a shade of happiness and a touch of hope.

He's already at home taking a bath in the muddy flood waters, and seems to have become the darling of the herd.

"He's our gift among all this craziness," says Cagney. "He's lifted everyone's spirits during these hard times."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chronology of the Press in Burma

1836 – 1846 * During this period the first English-language newspaper was launched under British-ruled Tenasserim, southern  Burma . The first ethnic Karen-language and Burmese-language newspapers also appear in this period.     March 3, 1836 —The first English-language newspaper,  The Maulmain Chronicle , appears in the city of Moulmein in British-ruled Tenasserim. The paper, first published by a British official named E.A. Blundell, continued up until the 1950s. September 1842 —Tavoy’s  Hsa-tu-gaw  (the  Morning Star ), a monthly publication in the Karen-language of  Sgaw ,  is established by the Baptist mission. It is the first ethnic language newspaper. Circulation reached about three hundred until its publication ceased in 1849. January 1843 —The Baptist mission publishes a monthly newspaper, the Christian  Dhamma  Thadinsa  (the  Religious Herald ), in Moulmein. Supposedly the first Burmese-language newspaper, it continued up until the first year of the second Angl

Thai penis whitening trend raises eyebrows

Image copyright LELUXHOSPITAL Image caption Authorities warn the procedure could be quite painful A supposed trend of penis whitening has captivated Thailand in recent days and left it asking if the country's beauty industry is taking things too far. Skin whitening is nothing new in many Asian countries, where darker skin is often associated with outdoor labour, therefore, being poorer. But even so, when a clip of a clinic's latest intriguing procedure was posted online, it quickly went viral. Thailand's health ministry has since issued a warning over the procedure. The BBC Thai service spoke to one patient who had undergone the treatment, who told them: "I wanted to feel more confident in my swimming briefs". The 30-year-old said his first session of several was two months ago, and he had since seen a definite change in the shade. 'What for?' The original Facebook post from the clinic offering the treatment, which uses lasers to break do

Myanmar Villagers Tell of 150 Homes Burned in Deadly Army Air Attacks

Artillery fire and aerial bombardments by Myanmar forces killed three civilians and burned scores of houses in their communities in mid-March amid fighting between Myanmar forces and the rebel Arakan Army in war-ravaged Rakhine state, villagers recounted Monday at a press conference. Villagers from Kyauktaw township in western Myanmar's Rakhine state discuss the government military's attacks on their communities at press conference in Sittwe, March 30, 2020. They made the comments after traveling from in Kyauktaw township to the state capital Sittwe to give testimony on a series of attacks on civilian dwellings amid a government-imposed internet shutdown in nine townships in Rakhine and neighboring Chin state, cutting off vital information about the fighting. They villagers accused the Myanmar Army of conducting an aerial bombing on civilian communities that destroyed about 150 homes and a monastery in Pyaing Taing village, while government soldiers on the g