Sunday, December 4, 2011

Famous Surin elephants: Plai Thongbai (พลายทองใบ)

Plai Thongbai, 42 years old, is a veteran in Ban Ta Klang, one of the earliest born elephants in this village, and famous all over Thailand, since he was chosen as an advertisement for Chang Beer.

Today I made an interview with his mahout Chu Nui Lun Salangam who lives in Ban Ta Klang.

Chu Nui´s father Oy Salangam had several elephants, and Thongbai was born in this family in 1969, Thongbais father was Plai Noi (now dead) and his mother is Ngun, who is normally kept in Safari World in Bangkok, but because of the flooding has been temporarily transferred to Katinlay in Pattaya. Chu Nui has altogether 4 elephants:
  1. Thong Bai, 42 years.
  2. Kham Moon
  3. Pancake, 13 years.
  4. Num Surin, 8 years.
 Chu Nui had no photo of the advertisement for Chang beer, but two other pictures.

On this picture, several of Ban Ta KLangs Mor-Changs are gathered, from left: 1. unknown 2. Tabum Mah 3. Chiu Pai 4. Ta Mew 5. Pah 6. Oh 7. Heun 8. Ta Inn 9. Mah. Behind is Chu Nui riding on Thongbai.

Thongbai is often leading the elephant processions in Ban Ta Klang.

Thumjai, Surins largest elephant.
Thongbai also has a famous brother, Thumjai, who is supposed to be Surins tallest elephant.
Thongbai has sired 2 babies, Nong Nef, who died, and Boun Oum, mother of both babies is Thong Boon, who is in Katinlay, Pattaya.

Plai Kham Moon, also sired twin babies, who eventually were never born, still inside their mother.

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