Jokia was rescued from hard labor in the loggingindustry. Like so many other elephants in the loggingindustry, Jokia was taken from her mother at a very young age to break her spirit in the ‘phajaancruelty’. After she survived this, she was forced to go into her mothers footsteps, which meant a life full of agony, pain and torture. Endless bowed roads, hills up or down while pulling the countless heavy logs with all the strength she had in her body. Every single day over and over again, year after year, decade after decade she was forced to pull and pull. No time to rest to recover from this hard labor, a minority of food and fresh water. Her body was covered in countless wounds scars silently telling Jokia’s harsh story of her existence.
The biggest ordeal Jokia had to endure was the moment that then pregnant Jokia was giving birth while logging. She was forced with violence to keep pulling the log, while she had contractions. So it happened that poor Jokia gave birth while pulling a heavy log. Her baby flowed out her body and rolled down the hill. At this point Jokia’s natural maternal instinct made her willing to look after her new-born baby down the hill. Jokia wasn’t allowed by her owner and in order to force her to keep on logging, he took his slingshot and shot her eye. At this point Jokia just gave birth to her newborn baby that had rolled downside the hill and laid motionless in between all the countless logs. Blood of afterbirth was dripping on both her back legs and now she was shot blind at 1 eye because, Being a mother, after 22 months of carrying her baby inside her body, she wanted nothing more than to nurse her new born baby. Jokia’s natural maternal instinct kept stronger then the pain of her eyes and her will to obey the violent owner. Again she tried desperately to reach out to her new-born baby. The owner became outrageous took his knife and stabbed aggressively her other eye out of her face. Her baby was left behind down the hill to die.
From this moment on Jokia’s entire world was completely covered in darkness. Not just with her loss of eyesight and eye, also because the trauma of giving birth and not be able took full fill her maternal instinct. Jokia had lost everything. From this moment on Jokia didn’t live anymore she only existed. All she could think of was the loss of her baby.
This black dark world came partly to an end when Jokia was rescued by Lek and brought to ENP. When Jokia arrived in ENP she met another rescued elephant named Mae Perm. Mae Perm was the most caring elephant you can think off. For the first time in years Jokia felt the presence of love as Mae Perm reached out to her from the first moment she saw Jokia. Within days she became Jokia’s light in a sad dark world. For the first time since many years and the loss of her baby Jokia found love, care, patience and a new pair of eyes in Mae Perm. Mae Perm guided her everywhere and the two became in-separable. They developed a special way of communication, very vocal with low rumbles, high squeaks and everything in between. Mae Perm explained everything for Jokia and reassured her when needed, always making sure Jokia felt safe and secure. In a short time Mae Perm had become Jokia’s entire world as for Jokia the entire world meant Mae Perms presence.
At night all elephants sleep in the safety of shelters. Mae Perm and Jokia decided one time that they preferred to sleep outside, so Lek, Darrick and the mahouts let them be. The next morning the two ladies were found sleeping together in 2 unfinished shelters in the park. Jokia slept peacefully in the left part and Mae Perm in the right part.
Sometimes Jokia was surrounded by the herd of cows who are rescued from slaughterhouse. Because she couldn’t see them, she often start panicking, calling Mae Perm desperately for help. Mae Perm always immediately rushed to reassure Jokia and guide her away to a calmer place. Sometimes Mae Perm guided too all cows to 1 side so she could lead Jokia out of the crowd.
For over 13 years the 2 ladies were inseparable. Together they have welcomed all new rescued elephants, the new born babies and they have experienced all the changes and development of ENP. Jokia and Mae perm became friends with Dani, Khundej and Saree. Mae Perm loved to hang out and play with the young ones while Jokia spent time with Dani.
Mae Perm became older, her body became more slow and she realized her time on earth wasn’t endless. With this realization, Mae Perm’s main concern was Jokia.
What would Jokia’s future be like without her presence?
With Jokia being over 20 years younger, in 2015 Mae Perm started a personal mission. She wanted to find a new destination for Jokia. Mae Perm tried 3 options. So in the next months she took Jokia with her to hang out more often with the girlfriends-group of Mae Bua Loy, Boonma and blind Lucky. Jokia and Mae Perm both liked this group and they were good friends. Only when the food truck came, Mae Perm rushed to be the first one there. Lucky was blind just like Jokia, 2 blind elephants together was not an ideal combination as both often had no clue where to go and what to do in hectic circumstances. Where Jokia was completely dependent on Mae Perm, Lucky was more independent and often tries to find her way through ENP on her own.
In the winter of 2015 Mae Bua Loy collapsed due to cold in combination with the physical consequences of her harsh life before being rescued and she was in critical condition. With all credits to the dedicated medical team in ENP, Mae Bua Loy survived and bounced back, although her condition remained weak. At this point Mae Bua Loy, Boonma and Lucky were staying on a different location in ENP, more close to the night shelters and the medical clinic. Mae Perm realized then that this trio was not the right destination in the future for Jokia.
In the next following months Mae Perm and Jokia searched more the company from Dani, Khundej and Saree and also spent time with Navann and his family. In the company of Dani, Khundej and Saree, it was Mae Perm who played the most with the youngsters, while Jokia stayed nearby with Dani. Then MeeSook was rescued and arrived in ENP. She had endured terrible abuse and suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Saree was only one who reached out to MeeSook in a very special way. So special that they are most likely are biological mother and daughter. MeeSook and the young Saree became their private, humanfree, area in ENP. The young handicapped boy Khundej requires quite a lot of care and guidance as his handicap sometimes frustrates him. With the patience of his adoption mother Dani by his side Khundej feels safe and secure. Mae Perm realized that these familygroup wasn’t the right destiny for Jokia as well. So what next?
Mae Perm then tried her option number 3, which was Navann and his family. Jokia adored this young boy. Although his disarmingly nature, the young boy was very patience with blind Jokia and loved to play with her and Mae Perm. His nannies and mama allowed the 2 of them to play with their boy as they all saw how happy their little prince was. This family hanged out on the same favorite locations, like on the beach at the riverside, in ENP as Mae Perm and Jokia loved to do. Mae Perm stimulated this contact more and more. She tried to convince Jokia to stay close to Navann and his family. Another benefit in this family was Navann’s mother Sri Prae. Being a landmine victim both her front legs are injured. Due to this handicap Sri Prae walks slow, same slow as blind Jokia, only Sri Prae has her eyesight. Sri Prae turned out to be same friendly to Jokia as her precious boy. In the autumn of 2015, Mae Perm had arranged with Navann’s family that the both of them spend every morning a few hours with Navann, Sri Prae, Mae Khampaan, Mae Bua Kham and even Tubtim, who wasn´t jealous at all on Jokia.
Mae Perm felt her days gradually became shorter. At a certain moment she expressed her frustrations on an empty blue basket. At this particular day Mae Perm felt frustrated. She was demolishing the basket, ripping it into pieces. Jokia noticed that something was wrong with Mae Perm. Being concerned she reached out to her friend to comfort her. Mae Perm tried to make Jokia clear that her days were limited now. Jokia didn’t want to believe or realize this at all.
Jokia’s entire world in ENP was Mae Perm and Mae Perm was Jokia’s entire world. For Jokia ENP meant Mae Perm, as it had been like this every day, since her arrival 13 years ago.
Jokia comforted Mae Perm by putting her trunk over her head and for minutes the 2 of them stood motionless in the river, their trunks strangled sharing intimate feelings of love. After these emotional moments with her best friend, Mae Perm threw the basket in the river and the ladies took a relaxing bath in the river, staying as close as they possible to each other.
In the first days of april 2016 Mae Perm felt that her time was near. She didn’t feel well at all and had no appetite. For Jokia she remained as strong as she could be. Mae Perm tried to make Jokia clear that her days had came to an end and pushed her to stay close to Navann’s family. Jokia still didn’t realize how serious Mae Perm was.
On the morning of 6 April 2016 Mae Perm laid down at Jokia’s feet. Jokia was comforting her. Mae Perm knew she had fulfilled her mission to find a destiny for Jokia best way possible. Surrounded by the love of Jokia close by her side, Mae Perm closed her eyes for the very last time. She left peacefully her world on earth.
The moment that Jokia realized what just had happened, she felt heartbroken. She watched over Mae Perm as if she was expecting her to wake up any moment. With temperatures over 43 degrees it was not responsible to leave Mae Perm’s body at Jokia’s feet. With a religious Budistic ceremony Mae Perm was guided to heaven, her body was buried close to the shelter in which Jokia and she spent many nights. Jokia witnessed the whole funeral, being overwhelmed by grieve, feeling totally heartbroken.
Again Jokia had lost her entire world, again Jokia’s world was completely covered in the deepest darkness.
In the days after Mae Perm’s passing it was critical if heartbroken Jokia would pass away too from grieve and a broken heart.
New arrivals Yui Bua and Sri Pai seemed to like Jokia, so the contact in between the three of them was stimulated positively. However Jokia lived inside her head, standing motionless on the beach, their favorite place where she and Mae Perm had shared many, many precious moments for years. Jokia wasn’t able to open up at all to Yui Bua and Sri Pai as she lived in her own dark world of grieve.
Also the presence of Dok Mai and her family didn’t pull Jokia out her darkness. As a robot she walked with the family but her thoughts were not with this family.
The only thing that had seem to have some positive effect was the fact that just like the last 9 months, Navann and his family every morning spent time on the same location as Jokia was.
Navann is a very social and heartwarming boy. Although being only 3 years old he knew Mae Perm had passed away. Of course he realized Jokia was very sad about this. Navann wouldn’t be Navann if he didn’t reach out to Jokia. As soon as the young boy noticed Jokia he walked to her, every time, every day over again. He invited her to play mud with him, or he just stayed close to her, strangling sometimes his trunk around hers to hug and comfort her. With his baby Navann-charms he warmed up Jokia’s soul every day more and slowly melted away each drop of grieve and sadness.
Although still mourning and feeling lonely, her love for the young Navann made her able to open up her heart little by little and embrace the warmth of his presence. Jokia even followed Navann to the mud where he was clowning around with new arrival Yui Bua to become friends and make her feel at home. With his golden heart Navann tried to bond Jokia and Yui Bua too, by playing and clowning around the both of them. However Jokia decided she rather would hang out quietly with Navann’s mama Sri Prae, than go crazy in the mud with Navann .
As the days passed by it was Jokia who decided every morning to join Navann and his family more and more. After about 4-6 weeks spending mornings like this, Jokia had became a full member of Navann’s family. Navann’s mother Sri Prae took Jokia under her wings from the start. It was 4 weeks after Mae Perm’s passing that Jokia started ‘talking’ again, with Sri Prae, with Navann and his nannies. For the first time after Mae Perm’s passing Jokia’s rumbles and squeaks were enlighten the air in ENP. Jokia had found her destiny, a new future within Navann’s family.
On this day, this particular moment a soft bright light from heaven shined on the happy 3; Jokia, Navann and his mother Sri Prae. From heaven Mae Perm had continued to watch over Jokia as well as over Navann and his family. Mae Perm shined her light over them to confirm that she had successfully accomplished her mission.
Jokia had found her future and Mae Perm had found out where Jokia’s future was. Mission accomplished. In her 13 years with Mae Perm, Jokia leant completely on Mae Perm. She hardly didn’t take any step without the security of Mae Perm close by her side. In her new destiny in life as nanny of Navann, Jokia became more independent as well. Although being blind, her world completely dark, as soon as she heard Navann squeeking, Jokia rushed as fast as she could, even all the way across the entire river on her own, to reassure her beloved sweetheart Navann.
Since that day, Jokia, Sri Prae and Navann were ‘the happy three’. Time passed by and Navann was prepared to live solitair like young bulls do. Jokia adored too young Dok Gaew and Thong Ae. She and Sri Prae are still best friends.