Elephants Tanwa, Sow, and Jahn at the Following Giants venue

Meet the elephants at Following Giants


As tourism dries up, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, you’re helping keep elephants at high-welfare venues fed.

Top image credit: David Owen

One such elephant-friendly venue in Thailand, is Following Giants – where the elephants are free to walk through the forest as if they were wild, foraging on native plants and socialising with each other whenever they choose.

Let’s meet the four “big personalities” who currently call Following Giants home.

Shy lady elephant “Jahn”

Jahn is a 32-year-old female elephant who is shy but can be playful and loves to splash about in the deep fishpond.

She was sometimes forced to mate against her will and is now traumatised and nervous around all male elephants.

Jahn is also nervous around people and doesn’t like anyone standing behind her. But, now tourists will be prevented from approaching her.

Smoothie “Sow”

Sow is an elderly, friendly female elephant who worked in the tourism industry in southern Thailand for over 20 years.

As Sow is an older elephant, she’s on her last set of molar teeth, and they’ve badly deteriorated. As a result, she was struggling to eat a balanced diet and had become very thin.

As part of our transition work at Following Giants, we’re helping the venue improve the elephants’ diets. We supported the purchase of a food shredder, that will help Sow by grinding up her food for her.

Twice a day, staff provide her with a nutritious blend of pineapple leaves, sugar cane, salt and elephant pellet food. The salt in the mixture encourages Sow to drink more water and stay hydrated. The pellet food contains essential vitamins. And the sugar cane makes it taste delicious!

The improved impact of the healthy recipe is clear.

Sow the elephant at the Following Giants venue

Sow the friendly 55-year-old female elephant (Image credit: Nick Axelrod)

Timid “Tanwa”

Tanwa is a timid and gentle, 28-year-old male elephant. Before arriving at Following Giants, he was in an elephant hospital after being seriously injured while working in the brutal logging industry. Tanwa has spinal nerve damage and, because of this, he cannot walk properly.

Following Giants staff have been treating him including using a special paste of herbs and roots from the nearby forest. When applied to his injury the paste provides a warming feeling and helps ease his pain.

While he’s recovering from his injury, he’s content standing still with his eyes closed in the cool stream. He’s not very confident, but staff at the venue hope this will change as his mobility improves and he gets used to his new home.

With your ongoing support, gentle giants just like Jahn, Sow and Tanwa will be free to simply be elephants. Thank you. 

Donate today 

With your ongoing support, gentle giants just like Jahn, Sow and Tanwa will be free to simply be elephants. Thank you.

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