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Elephants win 4M views running to reunite with favorite caretaker

They love their caretaker so much.

In the face of a charging herd, a man stands unmoved.

A video has been circulating around the internet showing a mighty herd of elephants trampling through the shallow river waters of the Mae Taeng.

On the other end of the river is a man standing in the middle of the path.

The elephants trumpeted and their feet thundered. The man didn’t move. Instead, he cupped his hands around his lips and called out to them.

As the herd comes closer, the anticipation grew stronger.

As large as these majestic beasts are, they have always been known to be gentle and peaceful.

What people may perceive as a dangerous situation tells a different story when one of the elephants approached the man.

The elephant raised its trunk, as if in greeting. Then, it stopped right in front of the man so he can pet them.

As man and beast share their greetings, the herd congregated around him and showed him the same gesture of tenderness and respect.

This man is not a stranger to the herd.

He is Darrick Thomson. He’s a former firefighter from Toronto who has since dedicated his life fighting a different flame – the dangers that elephants face.

This herd is living in the Elephant Nature Park where Thomson works as a conservationist and their caretaker.

The video that has since amassed millions of views showed how the herd welcomed him back into their home after 14 months of being away.

Thomson left the herd last October 2020.

At that time, he spent 10 months in Cambodia where he helped build an enclosure for an elephant rescued from a Pakistan zoo.

Kaavan, who has been in the zoo since 1985, now roams free with other elephants at the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary.

Then, he spent the next four months in Canada to take care of his ill father.

He then returned to Thailand in December, and he was received with warm and excited trumpeting.

The animals love him because he loves them.

The sanctuary where Thomson is working was established to take care of mistreated elephants.

However, as their mandate became much more needed, the sanctuary also welcome different animals in need of a home.

The park aims to build and maintain a sanctuary for endangered species, a room where rain forest can grow, a place where culture can be preserved and educate visitors, and an organization that can function away from political and private pressures.

There’s still a lot of work, but at least he’s back home.

The sanctuary is home to 109 elephants who live together as family and friends. And as big families go, they all have distant relatives – much like elephants to humans.

Thomson was quoted by the Toronto Star saying, “The whole family treats me as their own.” So much so that the first one to greet him in the video is one of the youngest in the herd called Khamla. Looks like “Elephants don’t forget” rings true after all.

Thomson’s relationship with the herd stands as a testament that we can all live together as long as we take care of one another.

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