Elephants Spot Humans In Trouble And Know Exactly What To Do

Between their impressive memories and lifelong family bonds, elephants are some of the most emotionally complex animals on the planet. Sure, they’re big, lumbering goofballs, but with all that size comes an enormous heart.

In fact, their capacity for love and protection can make them quite heroic. In many cases, an elephant will do just about anything for those they love, and these four elephants below proved that! Each of their stories is enough to bring a tear to your eye…

Elephants aren’t just known for their excellent memories; they have big hearts, too. Recently, caretakers of a 17-year-old female elephant named Thongsri, who lived at a sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand, devised a plan that would prove she was more than just a big animal.

ViralHog / Youtube

Their plan was fairly simple, and the goal was to show just how big of a heart Thongsri had. The two conspirators pointed out where it would all take place, and then began moving into position…

ViralHog / Youtube

Once in her sight, one of the men acted like he was going to attack Thongsri’s caretaker. Surely, this brawl wasn’t going to affect the enormous elephant in any way… right?

ViralHog / Youtube

Wrong! With all the power and speed of a truck barreling down a highway, the mighty elephant charged the attacker! By the time she arrived, however, the man had wisely retreated. But Thongsri wasn’t done.

ViralHog / Youtube

As was abundantly obvious, Thongsri’s sprint towards her caretaker was motivated entirely out of love and a need to protect him. She even offered her trunk to help up her fallen human back onto his feet!

ViralHog / YouTube

As her caretaker finally composed himself, Thongsri acted as a crutch. Clearly, this was one thoughtful elephant! But this behavior wasn’t uncommon—and she was far from the only elephant capable of showing love for her human friends…

ViralHog / YouTube

A baby elephant named Kham La, who lived at the same sanctuary as Thongsri, proved that the instinct to love and protect was an inherent trait. Kham La—pictured at the bottom right of this photo—leapt into action when her own caretaker was in trouble.

CNN / YouTube

Her caretaker, Darrick, was floating down the river and struggling to reach the shore. Of course, this was just a test—he wasn’t actually in trouble. But that didn’t stop this baby elephant from diving headlong into a raging river…

CNN / YouTube

Kham La launched no small rescue effort, too. At one point, she submerged herself nearly up to her eyes. All she saw was Darrick in the water and all of her instincts just took over.

CNN / YouTube

When she finally caught up to her caretaker, Kham La guided a laughing Darrick to dry land. She proved she was willing to put herself in danger for someone she loved. Thankfully, it was just a test—but what about elephants faced with real threats?

CNN / YouTube

In 2004, along the coast of Phucket, Thailand, a little girl named Amber Owen rode an elephant named Ning Nong as part of a once-in-a-lifetime tourist experience. It should have been all fun, but everything changed when the infamous 2004 tsunami struck.

Daily Mail

While some people ran to pick up the fish scattered across the beach when the waves went out, he became agitated at once,” Amber, now 22, told The Daily Mail. “He knew something was wrong and began running as fast as he could inland.”

Wikimedia

With the girl on his back, Nong Nong fought against the approaching current before hiding behind a stone wall and avoiding the waves that wrecked everything along the shore. “He saved my life,” Amber said. Even better, Ning Nong’s heroics served as inspiration for something unique…

ABC

Michael Morpurgo, a playwright, adapted Ning Nong’s heroism into a play called Running Wild! The tsunami of 2004 “was truly one of the most terrible natural disasters of our times,” Michael said. “Then, in the midst of the overwhelming sadness, I read just one small story of hope.”

Johan Persson

Of course, elephants aren’t solely dedicated to the welfare of humans. These elephants at the Grand Park Zoo in South Korea showed they were capable of fast-thinking heroism even when one of their own was in trouble.

Most News / YouTube

Life at in the zoo should have been uninteresting, but then the unthinkable happened: a baby elephant slipped and fell into the habitat’s pool of water. At a few feet deep, the water submerged the elephant, past his eyes, nose, and trunk. Surely he would drown without help…

Most News / YouTube

The little guy’s misfortune sent the elephants into a collective panic. Luckily, a couple of nearby adults jumped into action. Together, they rushed towards a ramp that descended into the pool.

Most News / YouTube

Wasting no time at all, the elephants ran through the water. Even in their panic, they moved faster than anything that large had any right to. The baby couldn’t swim, and time was running out.

Most News / YouTube

When the heroic duo reached the baby elephant, they carefully guided him back to the shore. They weren’t going to allow for any more accidents! Like the heroes before them, these pachyderms proved they had smarts—and hearts.

Most News / YouTube

Check out the video below to relive one of these heroic rescues. It’s incredible to see these animals use their size and speed to protect not just other elephants, but the humans who loved them, too!

You can’t watch these clips without seeing the genuine concern these elephants have for their caretakers and young. They weren’t going to let anything bad happen to those they cared about!

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