This is the moment an elephant recognises a vet who treated him 12 years ago. Luckily it was caught on camera.
A 31-year-old bull elephant had an unexpected reunion with Dr Maneeon of Thailand. They met in 2009 when the elephant was found struggling and taken straight to Meneeon.
The elephant was suffering from a fatal parasitic condition called trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness.
Doctor Maneeon treated the elephant, who was ‘close to death’ and was already struggling with symptoms such as a fever, loss of appetite, and swelling and inflammation all over its body.
Because of this, he was taken to the Forest Industry Organisation’s territory to be treated by staff. Thankfully he recovered and was released after several months.
Earlier this month, Dr Maneeon, while patrolling the same area the elephant was initially picked up from 12 years ago, recognised his distinctive sound.
When Dr Maneeon saw the elephant, he waved at him, and to his surprise, the elephant reached his trunk out to greet the doctor!
The vet said in an interview, “I remember the sound very clearly. Plai Thang’s noise is very unique.”
“Plai Thang was very aggressive when we first met. His body was weak and he could not fight other elephants. It took a long time for him to heal, but we learned that he was very smart and took care of himself.”
“Recently, we met again. We could remember each other and we greeted. It was a very special moment.”
“I hope it encourages everybody to appreciate the work that people do with elephants.”
Maybe it’s true what they all say, elephants don’t forget!