When we think of emotions like empathy and a desire to save others, we generally only think of humans. But animals exhibit similar emotions and feelings too. As seen in an old video going viral once again, the epitome of brotherhood and empathy is displayed by a baby elephant.
In the video, a man is seen “drowning” as he helplessly flows along with a river gesturing for help. In the background, a herd of elephants is trying to cross the same river.
Suddenly, a baby elephant, witnessing the “accident” runs toward the man, splashing its way across the fast-moving water. The tiny elephant is barely above the water itself but it still runs and tries to reach the man in time to save him. Finally, toward the edge of the riverbank, the elephant catches up with the man.
He first tries to hold him up with his trunk, which the man grabs as well. Later, when he is unable to completely grab him by his trunk, he shields the man with his body, holding him between his limbs, so that he doesn’t get carried away with the water. The video shared by BSE CEO Ashish Chauhan has garnered over 586,000 views on Twitter.
In his caption, Chauhan asks, “Do we deserve these kind hearted animal friends?”
However, this is not the first time this video has gone viral. Even though the considered “shelf-life” of viral videos is rather short as soon one viral sensation comes up after, this video has stood the test of time over and over again. It was originally shared in 2016 by a YouTube channel called ElephantNews. In the caption, it was revealed that the elephant seen in the video is called Kham Lha, who resides at the Elephant Nature Park, Thailand. The man who is pretending to drown is Darrick, a volunteer of the park and Kham Lha’s close friend. The video is an example of how elephants also respond to friends in peril, much like humans.
The comment of this video, viewed over 18,312,726 times, was filled with both heart-warming sentiments and jokes alike. “Elephant probably thought “Damn that stupid Darrich is drowning again, well, off I go to save him..” joked one user, “the Elephant is probably thinking “I need to get smarter friends”,” said another.
Since then, the video has gone viral twice more, each time as a Twitter celebrity re-shared it.
Elephants are often considered to be one of the smartest animals in the wild. They have bonds among their peers much like humans. They have concepts like fostering and adoption when a baby elephant loses its mother or helping each other when one is in need. The social groups among them are quite friendly and have relationships that last a lifetime. They are one of the few animals who mourn when a fellow member dies or gets hurt.