(born 1971)

One of three rescued elephants during Covid, gorgeous little Malee was brought to Tree Tops on 29th April 2021.  Butterfly was relocated to Tree Tops first, and then three weeks later, we rescued two elephants together with Malee and Asia joining our Tree Tops family. 

Malee is around 50 years old, and like most elephants, she spent years being sold from one owner to another, first working as a logging elephant, and then in tourism giving rides.  She is very sweet and quite a small elephant and we were hoping that she may want to be friends with Butterfly, but she really seems to prefer her own company and simply wants to be alone. 

This isn't uncommon when elephants first arrive at a sanctuary. Some elephants may instantly wish to bond with other elephants, whilst some simply prefer to be left alone. 

When relocating an elephant that has lived most, if not all, of their life in isolation, deprived of the most basic necessities to socialize and roam free, they need time to heal both mentally and physically. Malee is definitely a free spirit and enjoys being alone and we hope this may change in the near future and she will decides she would like to socialize. 


Malee absolutely LOVES banana trees! She loves eating the thick juicy trunks which are superb for rehydration, and also the lush green banana leaves. She has actually pushed over quite a few of our banana trees though thankfully we have a lot! 

For further updates on Malee and all our elephants, please head over to our Facebook and Instagram. 

New Rescue
29 April 2021

The Rescue of Asia and Malee

On 29th April 2021, we rescued two gorgeous elephants from a riding camp that is struggling to due Covid. 

The morning went very smooth. We prepared two trucks with support beams and fruit baskets. Asia and Malee stepped onto the trucks with ease and we were on our way to Tree Tops within an hour.

Due to Covid restrictions in Phuket, all of us including our truck drivers registered and took the Covid Rapid Tests at the checkpoint coming into Phuket at Sarasin Bridge. After about 45 mins, results all clear, elephants remaining calm, we were on our way again.

Malee was very calm the whole way, most of the time her trunk was held high as she sniffed the air, taking in her journey to her new home.

Once at Tree Tops, and after a peaceful night to settle in, the next day, Malee walked straight through the reserve to the fresh green grass at the far end and didn’t stop eating all morning. She appears to prefer to be on her own, so we will assess her over the coming weeks. 

Elephants suffer such immense trauma from decades of hard work, and each rescued elephant is different. We assess our elephants daily and if they choose to be alone, then they have all the privacy and peace that they need to slowly heal.


16 May 2021 - Malee bathing

Every moment is so precious when new elephants arrive and this special moment was so wonderful for Malee.

Malee has been very nervous to venture into the back pond. At her previous home, she was forced into the river and demanded to stay there with a rope around her ankle so she wouldn't bolt. It wasn't a pleasurable experience for her so she has needed time to absorb the different calming energy at Tree Tops, and understand that she can bathe peacefully. 

In order to help her understand that bathing should be fun, Nam Gaew, Fah Sai and Asia were bathing in the pond first of all and Malee was on the bank watching them. Once they got out of the pond, she decided that she wanted to go in herself. This was a massive breakthrough.

Remaining cautious, she didn't put her head under the water, but she did wade straight over to the verticle muddy bank. She threw mud on herself, lay on her side taking the weight off her feet, and rolled around having a really wonderful time. 

May 2021

Only one week since her arrival at look at Malee!

We’ve had so much rain recently which brings lots of lovely fresh mud. It’s gorgeous to see Malee covered head to toe, glistening a beautiful gold leaf colouring in the sunshine as she strolls around Tree Tops.

Malee is in her mid 40’s and is a really sweet elephant. There seems to be a sadness about her though which we hope will lift very soon. Elephants suffer so much cruelty and trauma and each elephant is different in their healing process.

Malee is staying on the perimeter at the moment, watching on as the other elephants socialize and play. She’s slowly getting used to her new home, her new friends, and her new freedom.