This is the heart-warming moment an orphaned baby elephant returns to her carer’s lap – days after being released into the wild and rejected by her own herd.
The two-year-old jumbo named Chabakeaw was found trapped alone in mud in Bueng Kan, northeastern Thailand on April 4 and was rescued by wildlife officers.
After five months of being hand-reared and nurtured, the department decided to release the baby back to her natural herd on September 18.
Orphaned baby elephant Chabakeaw returns to her carer’s lap after she was found abandoned by her wild herd in northeastern Thailand
The two-year-old baby was hand-reared by wildlife officers for five months before she was released again into the wild. The officers believe that her time spent with humans, from such a young age, would have made it difficult for the herd to accept her
Chabakeaw can be seen sniffing around her human ‘parent’ before she curled up in his lap for a snooze
However, on September 20 the officers discovered that she had been abandoned again, around a mile away from the release spot.
She was then taken back into care.
Footage from last Friday afternoon shows the adorable moment Chabakeaw curled up in the lap of her human ‘parent’ for a nap, secure in the safety and comfort of her rescuer.
Pichet Noonto, an elephant specialist, said that they will take care of her while planning for her future. He added that they may not be able to release her again into the wild
Chabakeaw was rescued in April after officers found her trapped in mud in northeast Thailand
Here, her human ‘parent,’ can be seen petting her after she lays down for a slumber
Pichet Noonto, an elephant specialist from the IUCN Species Survival Commission, explained that the problem with Chabakeaw is that she now cannot blend into the herd after she was left when was just a baby.
He said: ‘We believe that she was not accepted by the herd leader which is a consequence of her being raised by humans for over five months. She would have had difficulty adapting to the elephant behavior in the wild and been kicked away.
‘We will take care of her while we plan her future, but sending her back to the herd again might not be one of the options.’