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.
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.