A screengrab from a video shared on Instagram by Lek Chailert
We have heard numerous things about elephants — that they are gentle giants, that they can be a human’s best friend and that they are terrific listeners. When it comes to listening, it’s not their huge ears that help much but their feet that pick the rumblings and vibrations from over and sometimes under the ground. Earlier, this week, Lek Chailert, founder of the Elephant Nature Park and the Save Elephant Foundation, shared a video on Instagram of three elephants at the Elephant Nature Park.
On a bright sunny day, the food is lying on the ground and one of the three elephants is eating it. However, Chana, an elephant, it appears, doesn’t want to leave Ploy Thong, her adopted nanny, behind. Ploy Thong is “blind in both eyes”, the video description said. In the video, Chana is seen helping Thong trace the food on the ground by walking backwards, facing her friend. Thong followed perhaps the sound of Chana’s feet to sense where the food was.
In her post, Lek, who is also the founder of the Elephant Nature Park, drew people’s attention to Chana’s kind gesture as she led her nanny towards the food. “Look how Chana leads Ploy Thong, her adopted nanny, who is both eyes blind, toward food,” she wrote, adding that seeing them take care of each other every day she discovered the beautiful side of the elephant. “A lesson for us all,” she concluded.
And the beautiful video overwhelmed many, some of whom commented to know a little more about them. An Instagram user @smitten_kitten1, for instance, wondered how long it took the other elephants to figure out that Ploy Thong was blind? “Why is she blind?”
Ms Chailert responded saying that Thong worked at an elephant riding camp and she was already visually challenged at the time of rescue. The Thai actor added that the elephant continued to work despite being visually challenged. “The story behind both eyes blind was unclear as people can say anything, but only Ploy Thong knows the truth of who/what made her blind,” Ms Chailert said.
Another user, Lori Sager, said that the sight of elephants helping each other was incredible and “every day, I am more amazed at their intelligence and compassion/care for one another.”
Some commented that humans could learn so much from these animals.
Nathalie Roblain, for example, simply wrote, “Humans can learn a lot from animals!”
“Omg that is incredible,” wrote Mala Singh.
“Thank you, Chana. You’re so sweet,” commented Nancy.
Another Instagram user, Andrea BK, said that Chana is “a remarkable and individualistic special girl with a huge social intelligence. “I love her very much, especially her sweet face.”
Located in Northern Thailand, the Elephant Nature Park is a rescue and rehabilitation centre for gentle giants. You can also visit the park to volunteer for elephants, cats and dogs.