Kham Lha, a young Thai elephant, was concerned when she saw her good friend Derrick Thompson “drowning” in the river. She rushed into the water and offered him her trunk, so she could safely guide him to the bank. Thompson, who wasn’t drowning but simply floating the river, was moved by the gesture.

Kham Lha ‘rescues’ Thompsoon

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Kham Lha, an elephant calf in Thailand, didn’t hesitate for an instant when she thought a man was drowning in the river and rushed into the water. The man, Darrick Thompson, was part of the team that rescued Kham Lha and her mother and moved them to a safe reserve in the country.

When the young elephant thought that Thompson was about to drown, she rushed into the river and offered him her trunk so she could lead him back to the bank. In reality, Thompson wasn’t drowning but simply enjoying a swim, however, he was very touched by the gesture. “We believe that if you treat animals with love, they will pay us back with love too,” explained Thompson.

According to the Save Elephant Foundation, of which Thompson is a co-founder, ever since Thompson rescued Kham Lha, they have become good friends. The elephant enjoys “holding hands” with him and taking walks across the reserve. “Since he rescued Kham La, he has spent time trying to heal her from the mental anguish and has shown her love,” the staff said. “She made a strong bond with him shortly thereafter and accepted him to be part of her herd.”

So far, the organization has saved over 70 elephants, mostly elderly or suffering from some sort of physical limitations. The elephants are transferred to a protected reserve where they can roam free and create social connections with the other elephants.