Before Onion came to the Elephant Valley Project she worked in the logging industry where she used to pull large logs towards a sawmill. One day she refused to work and her owners made a hole in her forehead. They then would insert a hook into the hole and by moving it up, down, left or right, they could control her again, which caused her severe pain. When not working she would be chained constantly to a tree and a very small chain.
When Onion came to the project, the hole had become seriously infected and needed medical treatment. The wound healed, and you could still spot the scar on her forehead. She also still showed the mental scars of her logging past and for a long time was quite nervous. After a while she fell in love with Bob and followed him devoutly until his death in 2013. For several years we thought she was our best hope for having a baby elephant but in reality, like most elephants in Cambodia she was already too old!
Her Khmer name was Mae K’tum (‘k’tum’ means onion). Her favourite food was bananas, bananas and some more bananas and just generally loved to eat, which explained her nice, round body!
Onion passed away in her sleep on January the 3rd 2015, she is greatly missed by us all.