From: National Geographic
This elephant’s plight sparked outrage. Here’s an update.
LAST JUNE, BEHIND a stadium in the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, I stood in front of a young elephant that was chained to a pole. His leg was swollen and bent unnaturally. He had a bloody sore at his temple from lying on the hard ground. His eyes wouldn’t focus.
Gluay Hom, the four-year-old elephant at Samut Prakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo, was too unwell to perform tricks in the facility’s daily elephant shows. At that point, photographer Kirsten Luce and I had been in Thailand for a month, reporting a story on the captive wildlife tourism industry. We’d seen hundreds of tethered elephants in camps and paddocks around the country.
Gluay Hom was in the worst shape we’d seen. We put him in our story.