Bobo & Lamae
Given his troubling past, Bobo has trust issues and rarely feels safe around humans. In fact, Bobo only really trusts Lamae to come near and watch after him. This bond is so precious that Soraida had to put an announcement out for Lamae to join the hospital on one of Burma’s local Karen radio stations. Thankfully, he responded.
Bull elephants are naturally more aggressive than females, making most difficult to manage. In cases of abuse with elephants in captivity, however, psychological stress increases and can make male elephants act even more aggressive than what is found in nature.
And that’s just the case with Bobo.
In the hands of an untrained and abusive mahout, Bobo was severely stabbed on the top of his head when he was just five years old. Now, at 12 years old, he suffers from an extreme case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The stabbing left Bobo with tissue damage, poor vision, high testosterone levels, and major distrust of anyone.
Unfortunately, because of all the repercussions of his injury, he is currently not fit to rejoin the other elephants, or to be working with humans again. Even his keeper, Lamae, has to be extremely careful that his relationship with Bobo is the equal balance of trust and dominance.
With the help of Dr. Chaleamchart Somgrid (aka Dr. Nin) and the other veterinarians at the CMU Elephant Research and Education Center, Bobo is currently undergoing hormone treatment to help calm his aggression. The team is slowly seeing changes in Bobo’s behavior.
Bobo and Lamae’s relationship has been built over many years when Bobo was first gifted to Lamae. Bobo has had a few mahouts and keepers over the past years and Lamae is the only he trusts now. Lamae has had some dangerous trials with Bobo, but refuses to leave FAE in fear that no one else will take on the responsibility of care for Bobo. Outside of daily care and management, Lamae keeps Bobo company from both near and far, especially when Bobo needs some alone time. They have a very delicate relationship built off trust – one that will continue throughout Bobo’s permanent stay at FAE Elephant Hospital.