I am Nuan Jaan , 20 years old and I am an elephantslave. I would like to tell everyone about my daily experiences, about how it is being elephantslave, as there are so many of us, so people will hopefully realize and become aware about how my existence looks like.
As most people see just an elephant, because that is what I am right, but almost nobody sees ME. Yes I am an elephant, it is true, I am all grey complete with trunk, a tail where in the past was lovely black hair on it, I have small amber-colored eyes and floppy, severely damaged ears and I can rumble…. I have pink spots on my nose and I have large feet.
But still almost nobody notice ME.
People don’t have a clue how I feel, and don’t really see how I look. They seem also to ignore the heavy chains on both, front and back of my legs, and around my neck, the wooden saddle bend on tightly on my back with ropes around my belly to carry the tourists, nor the wooden pins behind my ears, as if it is all not there. And they really don’t see the countless wounds on my body nor the scars from the rope, from the pins, from the bullhook from all hurtful tools being used on me to force my exhausted body to keep moving on.
All they see is JUST an elephant and all want to pay money to my owner, to ride my back for 15-20 minutes every single day over and over again.
I see them coming those people from everywhere called tourists, fat people, skinny people, old and young, children. Sometimes people are even scared of me…, sometimes they make a fool out of me, but rarely they are nice to me. Occasionally some women and children give me a banana or a cuddle, but that is all. All those tourists are come for is to ride my back day in day out because they want to ride an elephant, make selfies to tell at home what they did.
Scared of me, Nuan Jaan, really???
As if I am mean or something, and besides if they really saw me, then everyone would know, that I am Nuan Jaan a very gentle friendly, harmless, innocent, loving, caring giant, called elephant. To be honest I wish to be like that forever… but I cannot, because I am an elephantslave forced to do what my owner wants me to do.
My owner doesn’t know ME either. He doesn’t care at all about me or my friends, the other elephantslaves. For him and his staff I am not an elephant at all, but just a moneymaking machine. Tools don’t have feelings they are only for the use to make money with. I am chained all day and night just like all other elephantslaves.
When it is dark I am still chained so I never can lay down to sleep. At night is my time for me with my own thoughts, my memories my longings, and nobody around except the other elephants with whom I communicate at night. As we are communicating infrasound, no one can hear us. I have learned how to snooze standing, but how I wish to sleep laying down like when I was a baby and still with my mama.
I love my mama. My mama was also an elephantslave just like myself, but when I was little I didn’t know anything about that yet. All I knew was I was with my mamma together and she loved me so much. Sometimes I can still feel how she touched me with the hairs from her tail or how I slept laying down on her foot while she was standing protectively over me, her trunks touching me softly to comfort me. My mama was chained just like me now too, but as a baby I did not realize she also never could lay down to sleep. My mama and me were always together every day and night. We were even chained on each other as my chain was connected to hers so I could not run away..as if I wanted to run away from my own mama… .
At day my mama walked and walked with the tourists on her back, just like I do now too. At night we had all the time for each other, so I laid always every night close to her right foot then she told me always how much she loves me while touching my with her trunk over and over. The time with my mama was the happiest time of my life. Later it would become the most happiest memory of my life too. At that time I thought these moments we would have forever the rest of our life’s my mama and me. When I was about 2 years of age my mama started to warn me. She said that we could not stay together the rest of our lives, and that soon the time would come we would be separated.
I was very upset , and would not believe her. Why was she saying those mean things. I wanted to stay together with my mama forever, didn’t she wanted the same.
My mama taught me to listen, she was emotional as well. “Listen my child .”, she said, “You are born as an elephantslave.
Elephantslaves are owned by humans who do not care, are in chains day and night, are forced with torture to do exactly what the owner wants. We are just their machines tools to make money, no one cares really about us. We don’t have enough or proper food, water..rarely. And most of all we must obey, we can never do as we want, never, they torture us, they beat us “. I looked and for the first time I saw , really saw our chains, mine were connected to my mama’s.
It didn’t feel good anymore . My mama wished to provide this life for me, she knew all about what was coming. She knew all and everything from which I didn’t not, yet , had any clue. My life was till this night full innocence, and since this moment in this night it felt like if I lost everything. I started to feel very scared. Why couldn’t we stay forever together, me and my mama. That was all I wanted. My mama kept talking to me all night, she gave me all kinds of advises. She said too that time was running out for us together. I remember few things like: obey, never complain, never show how you really feel, and try not to mate and have a baby if possible,
and most of all that she loves me forever.
The morning after this powerful night my existence as elephantslave really started. Be fore I was really woken up I was roughly ripped from my mama without any mercy.
Before I realized I was tight up and smashed into a small cage. I tried to run to my mama, got beaten on every inch of my body. In the distance I heard my mama warn me,; “please child of mine remember what I told you..obey, don ’t resist then all is less worse than when you keep fighting. And I love you forever”‘. My trunk was even tight up to provide me from committing suicide. What followed was countless beating, poking for days. No food, no nothing only pain, pain and more pain. Sometimes I lost consciousness and then I felt the love of my mama.
After a week or so they forced me to walk in circles around a tree I was still tight up in the harness of chains and ropes. The beating continued every single day in every step or movement they forced me. Then the saddle was tight up on me. And so my life as elephantslave begun. From now on I was forced being beaten with sharp tools like bullhooks, pokes, nails and on to carry tourists every single day, hour after hours. No food, no drink just walking and walking and walking, hill up hill down.
I was a tool just like my mother and all other elephants. I got sold from 1 camp to another, to another and on. Although being young my tortured, exhausted emaciated body was old.
And then the day came that I collapsed with the saddle full tourists still on my back. I just couldn’t take no more. Enough was just enough. People tried to help me but I was relieved to lay down… no more walking…. no more pain .. no more slavery … not ever.
My last thoughts were to my mama. She loved me forever, like I love her forever.
Nuan Jaan became only 20 years old due to the harsh labour in the hands of human of what is called elephantslavery. Whenever you see an elephant in trekkingcamps, touristsshows….or similar which is NOT sanctuary….all these elephants are like Nuan Jaan. There is no respect between mahout and ‘his’ elephant. All elephants are forced by the phajaancruelty at very young age. The threat of bullhooks or other sharp tools…reminds them every second that they have no other choice then being forced in the hands of humans.
A huge thank you to Lek Chailert many elephants are saved and rescued from an existence as elephantslave. These elephants live now in sanctuary or in the protective projects. Lek and her team have also tried to save Nuan Jaan. Unfortunately Nuan Jaan passed way under the care of the veterinary team of Elephant Nature Park.
Dedicated to: Nuan Jaan as symbol of all elephantslaves who are rescued and/or who are still having the existance like this, waiting to be rescued…
Please don’t support and don’t ride elephants, don’t go to sad shows like circuses.
Please stand up for elephants and all wildlife in similar circumstances worldwide. All these elephants want and deserve is a respectful life as elephants, as elephants are mend to be in the first place. Roam free, happily, among a herd and family and WITHOUT any humans around.
Hands off, saddles off!!!
Visit instead ele-friendly places like for example the sanctuaries and projects from Save Elephant Foundation.