Elephants have it tough these days. Poaching is at an all-time high and their natural habitat is being wiped out. It’s very rare for anyone to care about hard-up elephants to the point of actually doing something about it, like Darrick Thompson did when he co-founded Thailand’s Save Elephant Foundation.
Perhaps turnabout was fair play in the mind of Kham Lha, a baby elephant rescued in 2015 by Save Elephant Foundation. When Thompson was swimming in the river and calling out to the elephants on the other side, Kham Lha sprinted to Thompson’s side, lowered her trunk for Thompson to grab onto and rescued him from the grasp of the water.
CNN reportsthat at no time was Thompson in danger of drowning. Kham Lha probably misinterpreted Thompson’s calls as cries for help. When a baby elephant runs to your rescue, it’s best to let yourself get rescued. Even baby elephants are much stronger than you are.
Kham Lha’s impromptu not-really-a-rescue may also wind up helping rescue more of her own species. Video of Kham Lha’s lifeguard act is going viral and even made the front page ofReddit’s Uplifting Newssite. Free publicity is always good for the Save Elephant Foundation, which struggles to care for some 70 elephants. Many of the elephants have health issues which makes returning them to the wild a death sentence.