By Jack Williams
This is one heartwarming moment this blind elephant will NEVER FORGET, as she was welcomed into her new herd for the very first time.
In the uplifting footage, rescued elephant Ploy Thong can be seen sending out low vibrations, letting the other elephants know she was there.
It was not long before the group then took note, heading over to inspect the new arrival, touching her with their trunks in an affectionate way.
The moment, captured at Elephant Nature Park, Thailand, would have been a huge relief for Ploy Thong, who has suffered years of discomfort before being rescued by the staff at the Save Elephant Foundation.
Blind in both eyes, Ploy Thong is estimated to be around 30 years old.
Previously, she carried tourists on her back in the Pattaya region of Thailand for 16 years, using only her trunk to sniff out her routes whilst humans used her for a ride.
Before that, Ploy Thong worked in the circus.
While setting another elephant, Bua Keaw, free, staff from Save Elephant Foundation noticed Ploy Thong’s struggles and negotiated a path to freedom with her owner.
She was then brought to Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai, where the incredible first interaction with her new herd took place, on February 3, 2018.
Staff at Elephant Nature Park said: “Ploy Thong is one more elephant that we decided to rescue.
“Both eyes blind, she transported tourists every day. Every day she was saddled early, and carried riders until the sun set.
“She used her trunk to sniff the way while the tourist rode on her back.
“We saw her working while on the journey to rescue Bua Keaw, and began discussions with the owner to set her free.
“Her journey to freedom begins.”