Here’s a Successful Animal Rescue You’ll Want to See

In many Asian cultures, elephants represent good luck. They are also known to be majestic, peaceful creatures with a strong sense of family. You may already know how intelligent they are, but were you aware that elephants love water and are fantastic swimmers too?

The video shared by Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand demonstrates the amazing agility of elephants in water. More importantly, it shows the love these animals have for the humans who have given them the same.

About seven elephants were hanging out on the banks of a river seemingly minding their own business. But the beautiful Kham Lha was paying attention. One of the park’s volunteers, Darrick, was taking a dip in the rushing river waters and it appeared everything but his head was submerged. He was also splashing as the water moved his body downstream, having a good time. If you didn’t know otherwise, you might have thought he was drowning.

Picture of concerned elephant entering riverElephant News
Alarmed, Kham Lha caught sight of Darrick rolling down the river like a human in distress. Instead of being a complacent bystander, Kham Lha sprang into action. She was the only one out of her crew to do so. She lunged into the water, never taking her eyes off Darrick. As he moved faster down the river, so did she. With the strength of all four legs and her body weight, Kham Lha swam through the water until she got closer to her friend.

She didn’t slow down until she caught up with him on the opposite bank, and shielded him from the roaring water. As Darrick smiled and hugged her trunk, the two eased closer to shore. Kham Lha can be seen wrapping her “arm” around his body as if she was embracing him. Mission accomplished! All this time she thought her buddy was in real danger and wanted to save him. What a lucky guy indeed!

Picture of elephant Kham Lha hugging man.Elephant News
According to the park’s website, Kham Lha’s name means “darling”. She is only five years old and was rescued from an elephant show after going through a painful separation with her mother. During that time, she was trained to be submissive to people. Since being taken in at Elephant Nature Park, Kham Lha has been reunited with her mom and is thriving.

Under the guidance of founder Lek Chailert, Elephant Nature Park does a tremendous amount of work to save and rehabilitate Asian elephants throughout Thailand. The organization has been around since the ‘90s as a refuge for the endangered species who have been abused or hunted near extinction. They share rescue stories on their website and through their YouTube channel, and people are able to volunteer for service trips as part of their visit to the country.

As families tend to do, elephants look out for one another and for “their people” too. We should all be so lucky as to have a friend like Kham Lha on our side. Her quick wits averted this fake disaster but we love her just the same. What do think of this “daring rescue”? Have you ever had any special animal friendships? Share with us in the comments!