Never have we seen more pleased pachyderms.
Me-Bai, a juvenile elephant in Thailand, reunited with her mother, Mae Yui, earlier this month. It had been more than three years since the young elephant was taken from her mother, trained and then hired out to perform for tourists.
When she lost too much weight to keep working, the Elephant Nature Park -- an elephant conservation and rehabilitation nonprofit -- persuaded Me-Bai's owner to turn her over.
"When [Me-Bai] first arrived, she was quite nervous and we took care to feed her well until she was healthy again," the Elephant Nature Park writes in a blog post about the reunion. "We also began to search what had become of her mother. We found that her mother was working in the trekking camp."
After a bit of persuading, ElephantNews explains, "[Mae Yui's owners] agreed to retire her from [the] trekking business," allowing the mother and her daughter to reunite in the sanctuary.
There's only one word for this reunion: elephantastic.
"The heart-touching story about the reunion of a mother and baby elephant illustrates beautifully the incredible memories and love elephants have for one another," Joyce Poole, an expert in elephant behavior told National Geographic of the video. "It is with this science-based understanding of elephants as empathetic beings that we ask [countries to amend their treaties] to protect elephants from brutal capture, separation from family, and export to zoos."
The World Conservation Union considers Asian elephants an endangered species; major threats to the population include hunting and widespread habitat destruction, according to the Smithsonian.
Elephant Nature Park intends to rehabilitate both of these animals and return them to the wild.
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