41 YEARS OLD
Tong Tip and Nam Phet were both working at the same logging camp in Trang, Central Thailand, until it closed down. Due to lack of work, Tong Tip was chained for long periods and considered a financial burden, she received inadequate food, and she was eventually sold into tourism.
When Tong Tip arrived in Phuket she suffered from a chronic illness and was very sick, needing a lot of vet care. She then spent many years in the trekking industry, giving rides to tourists.
One thing that Tong Tip is known for at Tree Tops is that she never stops eating! After she's finished her food, she wanders to every food station to see what's available. She is biggest tummy of all our elephants which is just fine after all she has been through!
Tong Tip is very sweet, calm, and kind, but she currently has trouble making friends with the other elephants, often choosing to push them as if she's not quite sure how to make friends.
Tong Tip loves bathing in the ponds and wallowing in the mud but it took time for her to gain confidence to do these things. We will never truly know the full details of her past, but all we can do is give her as much time and freedom to calm her mind and enjoy her life, and re-learn all the natural behaviours that elephants love to do. We also continue to monitor her social skills in the hope that she will one day, accept a friend.
A very muddy elephant!
We are sure you'll agree that Tong Tip is one very muddy elephant!
With lots of rain there is, of course, lots of lovely fresh runny mud. Our elephants love to wander down to the stream to drink the fresh water, as well as throw all the glorious new mud over themselves, using their trunk to rub the mud into their skin as an exfoliant.
Observing our happy elephants as they do what comes so naturally really does make our hearts sing, and we hope this makes your heart sing too! xx
Enjoying a good scratch!
After the recent rains, there is of course a lot more mud!
A very muddy Tong Tip strolled over to her favourite tree for a lovely scratch behind her ears, all the way along her body, and right down to her toes!
The simple pleasures
From an elephant that didn't know how to put mud on herself, to now demolishing a huge banana tree! Tong Tip has made such incredible progress over the last few months.
As a riding elephant, her days were long as she walked around in circles with tourists on her back. Now, however, her days are very different indeed.
Tong Tip loves the forest. She loves the deep undergrowth, the vines, and trampling through the trees.... the simple pleasures in life which are very important for an elephant, and fabulous for our guests to observe.
Relaxing in the pond
The crickets are chirping and the birds are tweeting as Tong Tip takes a lovely refreshing dip in the late afternoon sun.
Our elephants deserve the best life we can possibly give them after decades of hard labour, and our peaceful reserve gives them just that. You can almost feel the years of stress float away as Tong Tip bathes and rolls around to her hearts content.
There are many magical moments here at Tree Tops with no two days the same.