Sao Noi


Today I ran across a drawing that I started back in 2016 of an elephant named Sao Noi, and I decided to finish it today.  I don’t know what happened, but I am able to draw again, this drawing sat unfinished for 2 years, but now it’s done.

Sao Noi was an older elephant, in her sixties, in Thailand.  She spent her life with Sontaya, chained up in Pattaya, Thailand, giving rides to tourists for the tourist trade.  BLES (Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary) managed to rescue Sontaya, but at that time, they were not able to rescue both of them.  A month after rescuing Sontaya, BLES managed to raise the funds to rescue Sao Noi.  The rescue of Sao Noi was not easy, she was in her sixties and very frail.  I watched the postings of Sao Noi’s Long journey by truck, with the staff of BLES to her new home, to live out her life as an elephant should, and to be back with Sontaya.  It was a long and grueling journey, but they all made it safely.   Sao Noi was weak, but she seemed to have been getting stronger every day.  She was back with Sontaya and the people at BLES who were doing all they could to give her the life she never had.

Then one day, only about a month later, Sao Noi’s body started to fail.   BLES did all they could to help her, but Sao Noi just couldn’t go on.

This touched me deeply.   I cried, and as I write this, I cry again, no elephant should be subjected to this kind of life. I started to do a drawing of her back in 2016, when she died,  in her memory, but I just couldn’t do it.  Yesterday, I saw the drawing that I  started  and decided to finish it in her honor.  I finished this drawing with tears in my eyes, her life cannot be wasted.   I can only hope that her death would educate  people of the torture that elephants go through in Thailand, chained up just to keep the tourists happy.   So I finished this drawing for her, for me, for BLES and for others to help to teach others about the torture that the Thailand elephants go through just to keep tourists happy.    Rest In Peace sweet Sao Noi, you are not forgotten, I can only hope that both your life and rescue will help to make others aware of what elephants in the tourist trade, have to endure.

Thank you for reading, please look at the BLES Facebook page and website.


Note:  This drawing that I did is from a photo from the BLES blog, I drew it in memory of Sao Noi.

Here is the final version of it.



3 responses to “Sao Noi”

  1. Your story touched my heart deeply. You have said the words so many of us feel. My heart breaks at the cruelty and abuse bestowed upon such magnificent beings.
    I would love to offer a suggestion to help BLES. Would you please consider placing this beautiful drawing of Sao Noi up for auction or offering prints of it? I would love to buy one and I believe so would many others. We could share this precious lady and her memory will live in many hearts.
    Thank you
    Robin Chandler Vitulle
    Free All Captive Elephants, Inc.


    1. Hi Robin,
      Thank you so much for your kind words about my drawing and about Sao Noi. I will contact Katherine at BLES to see what she thinks. I would love to do that, but I can’t do it without Katherine’s approval. I will get back to you!

      Thank you!
      Laura Daniels. 🐘


    2. Good Morning Robin, I am so sorry for the delay in texting back to you with this. I did contact Katherine Conner after your message about helping to auction my drawing off or selling prints to help BLES. Katherine got back to me this morning, she just found my email, and yes, she would love to have the drawing to be auctioned or printed to help them out. How would you work this?

      Looking forward to hearing from you,
      Laura Daniels


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