Hairy Chiang Mai elephant becomes net idol

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Yai Boonma looks like a rock star with her chic flock of hair.

A pachyderm with a perm has become Thailand’s net idol, as photos of the Chiang Mai elephant with funny hair have gone viral.



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Yai Boonma, a 70-year-old jumbo at Mae Tang Elephant Camp, has gotten hairy in her old age. The camp’s first elephant and the leader of the herd, her hair began to grow about two years ago and now has developed into bangs that give Boonma a fashionable look, at least for an elephant.

Veterinarian Panida Muanghong gives Yai Boonma extra special love and care and controls how much she eats.

Yai Boonma (Grandma Boonma) spends part of each day enjoying a mud bath. The black minerals in the mud have acted as both conditioner and setting gel to give her hairdo a distinctive look. Photos of the funky hair went viral Aug. 25.

Mae Tang spokeswoman Supattra Boonreung said Boonma has been at the camp for 35 years after spending her youth working in a Sukhothai logging operation. She gave birth to one daughter, who has since sired three grandchildren.

Unlike the younger elephants, Yai Boonma doesn’t work and is enjoying retirement from shows and tourist rides. But she sees visitors daily.

Veterinarian Panida Muanghong said the elderly elephant is healthy, but staff has to limit the amount she eats, as elephants lack portion control.

Yai Boonma’s beautiful long hair has made her world famous on the net.