The staggering footage shows an elephant rushing to rescue her favorite trainer, whom she believes is drowning.
Video footage of an elephant, Kham Lha, was wading across a river at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Coach Darrick Thomson, 42, said he had formed an ‘inseparable relationship’ with Kham Lha since she was saved and brought back to the reserve last year.
Darrick, a native of Toronto, Ontario, pretends that he had a problem in the river, splashes, and calls for help.
Footage shows the elephant walking towards him as he moves towards the riverbank on the other side.
When Kham Lha, five years old, came to see Darrick, she used her trunk to try to lift him before placing one of her legs around him.
Darrick is seen smiling while looking at the camera while holding the elephant’s leg tightly.
He said: “Kham Lha was really bad when she came to us.”
“She was tied up and forced to go through the cruel training process known as crushing to prepare her to work in the travel industry.”
“We freed her and helped her recover. She became really close to me, and we formed a strong relationship.”
“I went on the river to show how remarkable the relationship with humans is. And that if you show their warmth and kindness to them, they’ll treat you well too.”
Crushing is a brutal method of training where young elephants are tied and beaten to obey.
This method is used in Thailand’s elephant tourism to make elephants softer and safer for vacationers to ride.
Kham Lha is now free to roam in a protected jungle sanctuary with dozens of other elephants after being rescued.
A spokesman for Elephant Nature Park said: “We are all really pleased with Kham Lha’s progress and her level of adaptability.”
“She is now a happy baby elephant. The video shows how close she is to Darrick, and it’s an important lesson to be kind to animals.”