Khum Min is an Asian elephant that was destined for a life of chains at a trekking camp, until he was rescued and walked to freedom. Khum Min was not living in metaphorical chains but in actual chains. This could have continued if not for the activism and love by one group of people.
The beautiful moment he is released from his chains will leave you in tears of happiness.
Khum Min lived at a trekking camp. In Thailand a popular tourist activity is to ride elephants or “elephant trekking.”
Behind the scenes in these trekking camps it can be brutal for the elephants. They have been abused, become highly stressed, and their health and happiness are not always a priority. One group of people visited one of these trekking camps and were able to save Khum Min from this life. The group walked alongside Khum Min until they reached the release site in Northern Thailand.
Once Khum Min reached the release site, the group started to take off his chains, one by one.
The first step to complete freedom for Khum Min is to be rid of his chains. Khum Min’s saviors are obvious animal lovers and speak to Khum Min about each step they are taking. They even make sure to rub his trunk in reassurance. They do not want Khum Min to live a life of fear anymore.
They start by taking off the chains around his neck and then move on to the chains circled around his feet. Khum Min does not move an inch or fight back in anyway while they take off his chains. This is one elephant that is ready for his freedom. It takes a bit of a struggle to release Khum Min from his chains, so the woman who is petting his trunk tells him,
“…you’re a beautiful boy, aren’t you? You are going to live a life of luxury.”
After a bit of struggle to remove his chains they release one foot. The moment the chain is released, Khum Min takes a step without even being told. He takes his first step unchained and free. What an amazing moment. It does not take long to release the remaining chains and Khum Min is officially a free elephant.
The group erupts into cheers of freedom for Khum Min.
Khum Min starts to walk to his new life. He is guided to a herd of elephants in a remote village, so that he will not be alone. The video caption states,
“The hope is that by providing these eles [elephants] with a safe, happy herd environment, breeding will take place.”
Breeding free Asian elephants is very important because they are an endangered species. It is estimated that the current Asian elephant population is less than 50,000. Hopefully with the work that this group has done and other organizations, such as Elephant Voices, will help save more Asian elephants.
The group tearfully watches Khum Min walk away but know that he is on his way to a better life.
It is a moment that they will never forget and neither will Khum Min. He will get to live a free life, the way he was meant to. Have a safe journey Khum Min and a great new life.
Watch Khum Min’s emotional moment of freedom right below.
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