By Amanda

LifeBuzz Staff

This Rescued Elephant Is Crying Happy Tears After Being In Chains For 40 Years.

For more than 40 years, an elephant named Thong Bai has been kept in captivity in Surin, Thailand. Yesterday, Thong Bai's life changed completely: He was released from his chains, and welcomed to his new home and life of freedom.

A rescue worker named Khun NuNa Silpa-archa is primarily responsible for Thong Bai's amazing release, after she tirelessly worked to contact the right channels to ensure his freedom. But it wasn't just one person's efforts that made this special day a reality: After the news got out that Thong Bai would be freed, people in the community came together to make sure he had an incredible new home to go to. See the photos below.

At first, Thong Bai was nervous about his new home -- understandable, after four decades of living inchains.

According to the rescue workers, Thong Bai's first reaction was one of confusion and disbelief -- often, animals released after so long in captivity act the same way.

Thanks to the support of the people around him, Thong Bai began to adjust quite quickly.

His primary advocate, Khun NuNa Silpa-archa, drove for hours to see Thong Bai's first walk to his new home.

Darrick Thomson is the man responsible for building Thong Bai's comfortable new home, a place where he can relax, roam as he pleases, and be cared for with the utmost respect.

The new shelter was funded by a Thai beverage company, and the land use was approved by the Surin government -- it truly was a community effort to get this elephant living the life he deserves.

Though Thong Bai is just one elephant, efforts are already in place to continue to save more. The organizers behind this are hoping that Thong Bai's public release will result in a ripple effect, eventually calling for all elephants in captivity to be freed.

Watch what happened when a violinist played for elephants.

Source: Lek Chailert