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Today I decided to contact Elephant Nature Foundation to see what elephants were in the Foster program currently and immediately my heart and soul was captured again  by MEDO, who was one of the ellies I had taken numerous photos of in 2008. Below read her heartbreaking (but not too graphic)  history before she was rescued .

I was going to wait and pick out our “foster child” when I got to the park , but in rethinking that strategy, I didn’t want to waste a moment of our precious days at the park doing money transactions and signing papers.  It made sense to do this ahead of time so I can photograph and video Medo to my hearts content for us all to enjoy on the blog during the trip in February


Photo by Sandra Miller 2008 of Medo at Elephant Nature Park

As foster parents to Medo for 3 years you will receive updates about Medo and more photographs of this very special elephant when I receive them.  I will send emails to our special little “FOSTER HERD” as I get updates, and you’ll be able to view Medo’s biography, a photo, your foster certificate, a personal report from Jodi (a long-time park volunteer and close friend of Medo) about her life and progress since she has lived at Elephant Nature Park, and information on how you can further help save the Asian elephant from extinction.

Our girl has a big family to protect her and keep her from harm!!

Congratulations to the following list of new foster parents to our Mz Medo!!!

Karen Fones,Lois Dubs, Connie Etters, Lori Love, Sandra Meyers, Kathleen Zins Deb Hethorn, Gayle DiCesare,Catherine Crooks, Mary Susan Heise,Sandra Blust, Patricia Norman, Vonnie Almand, Beverly Eagan, Elizabeth Klemick, Barbara Black, Kathy Welsh, Dana Collum,Sandra Miller…and a couple of names yet to be added


Medo was born between 1985-1987. Her Karen-language name is a reference to her extremely handicapped condition that resulted from two horrific past incidents she has endured. Medo was rescued from a remote area near the Thai-Burma border and arrived at Elephant Nature Park in the end of June 2006, thanks to funds kindly donated by Bert Von Roemer of the Serengeti Foundation and Connie Speight of the Elephant Umbrella Fund.

By the time Medo was eight years old, logging was already banned in Thailand. Sadly the industry still flourished after that, unregulated and with poor working conditions for the elephants. At less than ten years old, Medo was put to work in the illegal logging industry. She was really too young to be doing such heavy labor, and as a result of this became a victim of a serious logging accident, in which her back right ankle was badly broken. The bone never properly set, and to this day her original injury is evident, the ankle is misshapen and enlarged.

After Medo recovered from her injury, it was obvious that she would never be able to perform heavy work for the rest of her life. At a loss as to what to do with Medo, her owner decided to sell her. The man who bought her did so with the full understanding that she could not be used for the work that was typical for elephants without such a handicap. Unfortunately, she still had to ‘earn her keep’.

Medo’s new owner decided that since she was young and healthy otherwise, he would use her as a breeding elephant. In her mid-teens, it was deemed time for her to be impregnated. With no regard to whether she and her chosen ‘mate’ were compatible, she was chained to a tree by her front two legs, feeling quite vulnerable. As Medo awaited her fate, a big bull in musth was brought over and chained next to her. Under normal conditions he might not have taken an interest in her, but soon frustration, anger, testosterone and desire all took control of him and he attacked and mounted her savagely.

Medo collapsed from the aggressiveness of his actions. As she lay there in pain and misery, no one dared to try to come to her aid, as they were fearful of the musth bull. She laid there for two days, before they could get the bull away from her and assess her injuries. It seemed that she had a dislocated spine and a broken pelvis.

Not a lot is known about her recovery, but most likely, due to the remoteness of her location, she probably never went to a hospital or had a doctor examine her. Amazingly, after a lengthy time of rest, it was determined that she could still walk, but no camp would ever want to hire an elephant in this condition. Also it was obvious that she would never be able to get pregnant due to the severity of her injuries.

When Lek found Medo, she was working for a village dragging small logs from the forest to be used for building. Lek could not let her live another day of hardship and started the negotiations to buy her. Thankfully, now she will spend the rest of her days at Elephant Nature Park free to rest and relax and socialize.

If you would like more information about the Park and the Elephant Nature Foundation’s other projects please visit


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For some reason when I look at this batik I can smell sandalwood oil.  I think I must have caught the true “essence” of Thailand and the elephants and the hues.  I can’t wait to go back you guys!!!!


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About Sandra Miller

My name is Sandra Miller and I love to ART. I enjoy my studio and home in beautiful Portland Oregon with my husband Steve and our charming Finnish Lapphund dog named Ihana