With proceeds generated by The Elephant Story store in Comfort, Texas, The Elephant Story has adopted Rueang Cay (Story from the Heart) also known as Nong Am.
Born on July 16, 2008, Rueang Cay has never had to endure the same hardships that her mother BuaThong faced at her age. However, it costs about US$15,000 per year to keep one adult elephant, mahout (owner and driver of the elephant), family and benefits.
Through GTAEF's Adopt-an-Elephant programme, The Elephant Story will donate $15,000 (USD) per year to pay for Rueang Cay's daily food and veterinary care.
In honor of The Elephant Story's generous donation, GTAEF gave Am a nom de plume of Rueang Cay (Story from the heart) to fit Rueang Chang (Elephant Story).
A brief history of BuaThong and Rueang Cay
Born in Surin, Thailand in 1983, Bua Thong (Golden Lotus) spent her young life as many elephants do, walking from town to town, selling sugarcane and bananas to people to feed back to her. She roamed with her mahout between Pattaya, Chon Buri and Ayutthaya.
In 1993, when Bua Thong was 10 years old, she was sent to the Philippines to be part of an Elephant show. Conditions weren't good in the Philippines. After two years, Bua Thong and her mahout chose to return to a life of street begging in Thailand.
On their return to Thailand, BuaThong and her mahout spent the next few years doing various jobs including re-tracing their old path of street begging as well as spending some time working in a trekking camp in Ayutthaya.
In 2007 Bua Thong’s mahout brought her up North to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF).
Already pregnant when she arrived in the GTAEF camp, Bua Thong gave birth to Rueang Cay on the 16th of July 2008. Lucky enough to be born in the GTAEF camp, she is now a very happy healthy five year old, who loves interacting with people, getting pampered by visitors while eating sunflower seeds and bananas. The apple of every ones eye, Rueang Cay knows how special she is to everyone at GTAEF.
Here are some videos from GTAEF's YouTube Page featuring Bua Thong and Rueang Cay (aka. Nong Am)