This touching story took place in the jungles of Thailand in March 2021. Dr. Pattarapol Maneeon was making his way through the dense thickets of the reserve when suddenly he heard the soft cry of an elephant. Maneeon knew exactly who it belonged to. While many people think all elephants trumpet in the same way, that's not true as each animal makes its own set of sounds. Twelve years ago Maneeon cured an elephant named Plai Tang. His voice he would recognize among a thousand others, and now the vet was sure that his former patient was somewhere near.
And then the elephant saw him! The doctor beckoned the elephant, and the elephant took a few steps toward him and then reached for the man's hand with its trunk. Pattarapol realized that Plai Tang recognized him. It was an amazing moment of reunion between two old acquaintances a dozen years after they had seen each other.
The vet first saw Plai Tang in 2009, when the elephant was found in a critical condition in the Rayong woods. The animal was then diagnosed with trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness, a disease caused by parasites Trypanosoma brucei.
The elephant was suffering from a range of painful symptoms such as fever, anemia, pink eye, swelling of face, abdomen, neck, and stiff legs. "Plai Tang behaved extremely aggressively. He was weak and could not stand up to other elephants. The treatment was long, but during that time we were able to learn what a smart animal we were dealing with," Dr. Maneeon recalls.
After the treatment, the elephant was moved to the Department of Forestry Reserve in Lampang Province, where he was looked after by the reserve staff. After a few months of care and attention, Plai Tang was released into the wild.
Dr. Maneeon didn't hope that the elephant would recognize him after so many years. But it turned out that the animal had not forgotten someone who had been so kind to him and saved his life. For the vet this unexpected and touching meeting was another reward for his hard work. "An amazing and very special moment... These are the moments I chose this profession for," Maneeon says.
Source: The Epoch Times
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