Rescued 8 December 2016
Passed Away 12 November 2021

Known endearingly as “Darling,” Gaew Ta, in her early 60s, graced Phuket Elephant Sanctuary with her serene presence. Notably blind, Gaew Ta navigated her surroundings with grace, guided by the devoted mahout who served as her eyes and ensured her safety through their strong bond.

Gaew Ta’s journey at the sanctuary started on December 8, 2016, following her release from the demanding work of elephant riding for tourists. Previously, she endured strenuous labor in the logging industry in the Nakhon Si Thammarat province in Southern Thailand. Despite her blindness, Gaew Ta displayed remarkable resilience, tapping and touching the ground before each step to ensure safety.

On February 14, 2017, Dr. Rui Oliveira, a world-renowned vet ophthalmologist, delivered the heartbreaking news that Gaew Ta’s sight would never return due to the severity of her eye infection. Despite her challenging past, Gaew Ta found solace at Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, where she felt safe and cherished. Her mahout provided both physical and mental care, offering her a simple and peaceful life in nature.

Despite her blindness, Gaew Ta once snuck out at night, showcasing her adventurous spirit as she devoured several banana trees at our neighbor’s land—an unexpected and delightful escapade that added a touch of mischief to her otherwise serene life

During her last two years at Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, Gaew Ta formed a profound bond with Vanda, another gentle elephant rescued in December 2019. Together, they found companionship and solace, enriching each other’s lives in the sanctuary’s serene setting.

Gaew Ta’s legacy lives on as a testament to the transformative power of love, care, and sanctuary living, and although she is physically no longer with us she remains an integral part of our story.