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Get the tissue boxes ready.

Me-Bai, a kidnapped elephant, is now safe and free after years of exploitation in captivity, and a touching video shows her reuniting with her mother. 

Me-Bai's story starts when she was taken from her mother Mae Yui at just a few years old, being forced into a life of slavery. 

She was then subjected to a "training crush," a ritual where elephants are often shackled and abused until their spirit is literally broken. Horrifying!

Me-Bai was then sold off to a camp where paying customers could ride her as part of Thailand's elephant tourism industry. 

"Imagine her many nights filled with panic and fear, a child alone, injured and confused; for three and half years she stood in the rain and the sun without her mother; for three and a half years she entertained the human need for subservience," wrote sanctuary founder Lek Chailert.

Me-Bai suffered externally and internally, as she became depressed from the abuse and stopped eating, soon becoming too thin to be valuable to her captors. 

But don't worry... this story does have a happy ending.

The little elephant was able to retire early and given to rescuers from Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary for pachyderms, where she began the process of healing after years of pain. 

As the staff began to nurse her back to good physical health, they also wanted to help track down her mother. Mae Yui was at another tourist camp more than 100 kilometers away, and Chailert was able to convince the elephant's owners to allow the two to see each other. 

Baby Me-Bai had no idea she was going to see her mother, but after four days of hiking... this happened. 

"When Mae Yui and MeBai met, it seemed both of them were shocked and they held quiet, silent for half an hour," Chailert wrote.

"And then they began to talk, MeBai and her mother joining trunks, hugging each other and talking non-stop, three and half years of catching up."

Mae Yui's owners agreed to release the mother from captivity, meaning she and her baby could be rehabilitated together. The sanctuary hopes to one day return the two back into the wild. 

"Now [Me-Bai] enjoys the companionship of her mother — she feels like the little baby again," wrote Chailert. "She feels safe when she sleeps because her mother stands over her. She sleeps deeply and snores loud in the jungle. [Sometimes] she wakes up and tries to drink milk from her mother's breast. It is such a beautiful moment."


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