Touching moment elephant recognizes the vet who cared for him 12-years ago

In an extremely moving scene, a wild elephant seems to recognize the man that saved, his life, over a decade ago.

Dr. Pattarapol Maneeon had a heartwarming, yet unexpected reunion, with an elephant he treated 12 years ago. Back in 2009, the now 31-year-old elephant named Plai Thang was extremely ill –  When a team of volunteers found him, in the the wilderness of Rayong in eastern Thailand, his chances to survive were extremely slim. Suffering from multiple sicknesses such as trypanosomiasis, anaemia or stiff legs, the poor creature was struggling to eat or drink water, let alone to stand on his feet.


The elephant was immediately taken to the Forest Industry Organisation, where Dr. Maneeon treated him and looked after him, until he miraculously recovered in a few months.

He was, then released back in the wild, in the same area where the rescue team initially found him.


Earlier this month, the vet who took care of Plai Thang was exploring the area, when spotted his old friend.

However, was unsure the elephant will recognize him after so many-years. Anyway, the vet waved at him.  And soon as he realizes the man who’s waving at him is the same who treated him 12-years-ago, the elephant hurries to show his appreciation, once again.


As he got close to’ Dr. Maneeon, Plai Thang reaches his trunk to touch the hand that saved his life. A moment surprised by: cameras!

The vet later explained, that when he initially spotted Plai Thang, he knew it was him after the sound he made.


“I remember the sound very clearly. Plai Thang’s noise is very unique,” the vet told to a local news outlet.

“Plai Thang was very aggressive when we first met. His body was weak and he could not fight other elephants. It took a long time for him to heal, but we learned that he was very smart and took care of himself. [Recently, we met again,]

Dr. Maneeon added. “We could remember each other and we greeted. It was a very- special moment. I hope it encourages every-body to appreciate the work that people do with elephants.”


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