LOCATION: Kegalle, SRI LANKA
CAMP: Millennium Elephant Foundation
Lakshmi was captured in the wild in 1975, but with no proper care available she was given to the Millennium Elephant Foundation to be looked after. The Foundation took her in and has cared for her ever since. She was named Lakshmi when she arrived in honor of the fertility goddess. She was never used in logging or to do labor so it is unclear why she was originally captured. Nevertheless she has led a happy, healthy existence with her elephant and human families at Millennium. She gave birth to a little girl named Pooja back in 1984. Lakshmi and Pooja have spent everyday together since.
Lakshmi is self-confident and head strong but has a very good relationship with her mahout, Gaya. She can be a bit mischievous at times but is most content during her bath time in the river with the other elephants. In 1997, Lakshmi starred in the film Tarzan with Bo Derek.
A new painter, she began to develop her style after only three days of training. Lakshmi prefers bold purposeful strokes. She is unusual in that many of her marks are horizontal in nature. She holds the brush by wrapping her trunk around it, then twisting it this way and that to produce her beautiful compositions. She very much enjoys her time painting but especially likes the banana she gets at the end of her sessions.