Elephants always remember especially not the person who rescued them.
Plai Thang, a 31-year-old bull elephant in Thailand, shared a heartwarming reunion with the vet who saved his life 12 years ago.
Plai Thang was on the brink of fatality in 2009 after he got trypanosomiasis (sleeping illness), a disease transmitted by biting insects and fatal if not treated.
The elephant was suffering from a high temperature, loss of appetite, and swelling all over his face and neck. He was located struggling to relocate, as his legs and back were stiff, in Rayong, Thailand.
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He was transported to Forest Market Organization’s territory where Doctor Pattarapol Maneeon with the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation treated him.
” Plai Thang was extremely hostile when we first met. His body was weak and he can not fight other elephants. It took a long time for him to heal, but we discovered that he was very smart and took care of himself,” recalled Pattarapol.
After months of healing, the elephant was released back right into the wild and the veterinarian thought he would never ever see him once more.
However during a current patrol of the area, Pattarapol recognized a sound he hadn’t heard in over a decade.
The unique sound was Plai Thang. Apparently, elephants aren’t the just one with great memories.
The elephant identified his rescuer also and stretched out his trunk to welcome him. Elephants greet each other by intertwining their trunks. The wonderful gesture by the elephant was his method of stating “hello” to an old friend.
The touching moment was caught in a photo which has gone viral.
” I remember the sound very clearly,” Pattarapol said. “Recently, we met again. We could remember each other and we welcomed. It was an extremely unique moment.”
Elephants are amazing pets. They have the biggest brain of any kind of land mammal, which weighs between 8-12 extra pounds– nearly 3 times the weight of a human mind. They use their superb memory to not just recognize those they have encountered previously, but also to protect the herd.
Their memory only improves in time and scientists believe they are as smart as dolphins.
Pattarapol wishes his special bond with Plai Thang “motivates everybody to appreciate the job that people do with elephants.”