28 February 2011
Beautiful Lotus arrives at BLES!
Well, after the traumatic rescue of Pang Dow back in September, I was prepared for anything! I had been stressed about the rescue of Lotus for the many weeks leading up to it. I had thought of every possible worst scenario and had prepared myself for the worst…. It was a complete waste of my time and energy, because transporting Lotus from Hua Hin to BLES was an absolute dream! It was the easiest rescue BLES has achieved to date.
My team and I arrived in Hua Hin in the very early hours. I sat watching Lotus for a while and when I was sure it was ok to approach her, she watched me. I’m sure she could pick up on my unexpected anxiety, because she broke the ice in no uncertain terms. After our initial ‘hello’, she started to gather up her chain, throw it over her back as if to say, ‘well, come on then, lets go!’
I looked around and noticed all the dog poo and cow dung. Then I saw all the trash. Then, to my horror, I realized Lotus was tied up in a graveyard! The place was dry, barren, dusty. No place for an elephant. I was more desperate than ever to get her out of there.
We started our long journey home at 2pm. Lotus was at first unsure about getting on the truck, but after some gentle persuasion, she happily walked on and positioned herself. It was clear that she was quite the traveller. She rested her head on top of the cab and that is pretty much how she stayed throughout the journey. We stopped twice to shower her down and empty out the dung and she never once flinched or displayed any signs of being distressed. Her calm and relaxed disposition was catching and soon the rest of us fell into a deep sleep, waking up to find we had already arrived at BLES!
It was 4.30 am when Lotus finally made it to her new home. She waited patiently while the truck was reversed and slowly put her feet on BLES soil. We gave her some bananas and were slightly perplexed when she just stood there, looking back at us. I bent down and started to feed her and then understood — Lotus is a bit of a diva — and why shouldn’t she be?!?!? We laughed and all knelt before her, handing her her bananas and other treats.
Lotus then started to wonder around and explore her surroundings. She was slow and we let her go where she wanted. She started to walk up the hill and we let her go. As I watched her fade into the bushes, I realized that this was the first time she had been in a forest. It was a thrilling moment and one I will treasure for the rest of my life.
A few hours later, Lotus reappeared and started to eat everything in sight. Our papaya trees, banana trees, bamboo bushes, our vegetable patch, pineapple plants and even my Christmas trees! She reminded me of Hope when she is choosing an ice cream. She has to pick up each one, squeeze it, smell it and if she could, she would probably try it, before putting it back!
Lotus is an absolute joy and is happy relaxing around BLES on her own. We introduced her to Pang Suai our resident agony aunt, thinking she would feel sorry for our newest arrival and take her in. Well, we were wrong. Pang Suai proved to us all how deeply protective of Pang Dow she is. Whenever Lotus tried to get close to Pang Dow, Pang Suai challenged her. When Lotus tried to follow them out on the walk, Pang Suai spun round and lunged towards Lotus. Lifting her two front feet off the ground, Pang Suai smacked Lotus so hard, she almost lost her footing. It worked. We understood. Lotus was not yet welcome with the Pang girls.
And so, Lotus spends her time alone. She follows around the housekeepers, eaves dropping on their twittering conversations. She has worked out that if she stands at the bottom of the footpath, someone will appear eventually with some kind of treat for her. Yes, I think it is fair to say Beautiful Lotus is already a firm favorite around BLES.
Thank you so much to all of you who made her rescue possible. Lotus is enjoying unlimited freedom and pampering and it is all thanks to you who cared enough to reach out and help her.
Trunks of love and gratitude,
Katherine and our forever expanding family xx
If you enjoy reading Katherine’s Journal entries, a year’s worth with new photography is available through Blurb Books