Meet Faa Mai. This adorable elephant has lots of love in her heart for Lek Chailert, the founder of a Thailand elephant sanctuary called Elephant Nature Park (ENP), where Faa Mai lives.
And sometimes, this affection she has for Chailert makes her a bit overprotective. Chailert described an incident in which Faa Mai wouldn’t let her out of her her grasp in a Facebook post recently.
“Today she [Faa Mai] spied me out of the corner of her eye while she was playing in the mud and happily came to hug me with a trunk full of mud,” Chailert said. “All my hair and face was covered with mud, so I went down to the river to clean myself off.”
Faa Mai is soon turning nine years old and is nearing the same size as her mother. Chailert says that even though she is getting older, “she has retained such a beautiful and gentle demeanor, always demonstrating her care and respect for others.”
When Chailert went down to the river to clean herself, Faa Mai followed. She patted Chailert with her trunk as the woman tried to get the mud off.
“She continuously checked to make sure that I was safe, touching me with her trunk,” Chailert said. “The more that she touched me, the more that I was dappled with dirt.”
“She then shuffled me away from the river as is the way of a mother toward her calf,” Chailert said. “Sometimes I wonder what Faa Mai is thinking, acting always so caring and protective as if she were my mama.”
Faa Mai and Chailert’s amazing relationship has been captured on camera several times before. Their adorable lullaby session went viral on the internet a few years ago.
More recently, they were caught playing an adorable game of hide-and-seek.
There are lots of other elephants at ENP that share a deep bond with their rescuers. Many of them were rescued from the tourism industry, including Faa Mai’s mother, Mae Bua Tong, who had been forced to carry tourists up and down a mountain on two-hour treks eight times a day!
In 2005, Mae Bua Tong was rescued and brought to ENP, with her older child, Tong Jan. Faa Mai was the first elephant to be born free at Elephant Nature Park.
Watch this adorable video below!
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