Name: Prathomsompob (nickname AI)
The Thai Elephant Conservation Center, Lampang, Thailand.
AI is a very clever and delightful young elephant, easy to teach and can learn quickly. If his mahout ever gets angry with him for not doing what he is told, AI likes to sulk and sometimes also be naughty. He loves to play with other elephants and plays hard with the older ones, pretending he is the same age as them. He adores eating bananas, sugar cane and sunflower seeds.
AI was conceived by artificial insemination by a team of Thai animal doctors, hence his nickname. He is the first elephant in Asia to be born from artificial insemination and only the second elephant in the world to be born by this technique. His Majesty The King conferred the full name Prathomsompob to him.
AI surprised us with his talent that was immediately evident and unusual at a young age. His early style was long vertical strokes, gently applied, with some lateral movement both left and right. This later evolved to using a series of gentle dabs with the brush, usually creating extraordinary patterns.
AI’s mahout is Pun Jitsok, who was born in 1969. Pun came to the Center as a mahout at the age of 36. He is married to Suree and they have two children. His daughter is a teacher and son is in college.