It’s always a special moment when an animal forms a lasting bond with a human. It can be an extremely touching and unforgettable experience. More often than not, it’s usually reserved for closer, domesticated animals – such as cats and dogs, but sometimes, a bond can form between a human and a decidedly larger (and wilder) beast.
Darrick had been volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand for a number of years, so much so that he had helped raise one elephant in particular – Kham La. It was to her he calls in the video below, and before you know it, she comes running with all the rest of her family in tow.
Darrick has clearly formed an impressive bond of trust with the animals, as they crowd around him, eager to be close to their human friend. It’s a really beautiful moment.
The Elephant Nature Park is one of many such locations around Thailand and South East Asia that care for elephants. There’s a common misconception when tourists visit the country that elephant and tiger “sanctuaries” are good for the animals – but the fact is, many are quite the opposite. There’s nothing worse than watching hoards of people climb on the backs of elephants to go for jungle treks or seeing couples cozy up to a sedated tiger just for a new profile picture. These tourist trap places treat the animals appallingly – and people should be ashamed of themselves if they visit one.
Thankfully, its places like The Elephant Nature Park working to combat such disgusting practices. They rescue the animals that have been beaten, chained, and subjected to carrying humans – a practice they are not meant for. The park makes sure these gentle giants never have to suffer again, and its volunteers like Darrick who help show the animals the love and care they so desperately crave.
The results speak for themselves as you’re rewarded with what must have been an incredible feeling when a herd of elephants comes when you call them. That’s so much better than sitting in a basket on one of their heads while they’re whipped into moving forward. Watch this amazing and heartwarming video below, and remember to be more ethical when you’re traveling. If you or any of your family are planning a trip to South East Asia – make sure you do your research when visiting any animal sanctuary.