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Baby Elephant Saves 'Drowning' Rescuer -- How Smart are These Gentle Giants?

Oct 18, 2016 05:59 AM EDT
Baby Elephant Beats The Heat
A baby elephant in a sanctuary in Thailand saved his drowning favorite human from a river.
(Photo : Ken Bohn/Zoological Society of San Diego via Getty Images)

A baby elephant was seen wading  a river to save its "drowning" human companion. Elephants rescued from abusive environments tend to become attached to their rescuer. This was what a baby elephant, a gentle giant, exhibited in a sanctuary in Thailand.

In a dreamlike situation, a baby elephant bravely tackled a waging river to save a "drowning" human being. The elephant was seen offering its trunk to the human and at the same time, using its foot to secure the person from the river.

This incredibly endearing act was witnessed in the Save the Elephant Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In what appears to be a little experiment, elephant handler Darrick Thomson, who is also a co-founder of the foundation, pretended to be drowning right across where a family of elephants can be seen.

Kham Lha, a rescued baby elephant came to his aid, braving to cross the river to hurriedly save his favorite human being. Apparently, Thomson wanted to showcase the extraordinary bond between him and the baby elephant who has been rescued from a cruel and abusive environment.

Read: Elephant in Langkawi Forced to Give Rides, Prohibited to Lie Down to Sleep

Thomson's acting was superb, calling out to the baby elephant while waving his hands in the air. The animal successfully processed this as a signal of "distress" and went on to save his human. The baby elephant is also fond of holding hands with Thomson, reports say.

"Since he rescued Kham La, he spent time to heal her from the mental [anguish] and has shown love to her," a staff at the Save the Elephant Foundation said in an interview with CNN. "It's not long after that, she [made a] strong bond with him, and accepted him to be part of her herd."

Scientists regard elephant as "incredibly smart" animal. Elephants also have the largest brain in the animal kingdom with a total of three times the number of neurons compared to the human brain.

There are seven main characteristics that prove how smart elephants are, according to a scientific report. This includes the ability to identify and recognize languages, the ability to use tools, the ability to understand body language, their sharp memory, their ability to feel sad, and most importantly the ability to feel empathy. 



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