08 | Elephant Phumphuang
Artist Phumphuang with baby Aleena
Phumphuang was donated to the Thai Elephant Conservation Center by Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand.
Phumphuang is very docile and friendly with humans, but she hates dogs.
Phumphuang has an unusual number of toes on her feet – 17 in all. Front right there are 5 toes, front left there are four and there are four each on her back legs. She has a perfect temperament for breeding and on 6 May 2004 she gave birth to a female baby named Aleena. Mother and baby were constantly together for three years from birth while Aleena was being weened, after which Phumphuang returned to painting again. By the way, Aleena’s best friend is Big, a scraggy dog that lives at the Center. Phumphuang’s mahout made a clever ploy of introducing Aleena to the young Big soon after she was born and so they naturally became friends. This way, he hopes that Phumphuang will stop her hatred of dogs.
Phumphuang’s mahout is Sawang Kamwang, who was born in Lampang September 1974 and started working as a mahout at the age of 23. Sawaeng is married to Niyom and they have two daughters.