Lay thee down now and rest, may thy slumber be blessed
June 3, 2018 4:50 PM   Subscribe

Faa Mai the elephant was born in 2009 on the grounds of Elephant Nature Park in Thailand. She became very attached to sanctuary founder Lek Chailet, who sang lullabies to her as she grew up. Recently, Faa Mai has taken a liking to Thong Ae, a recently-rescued calf. When Thong Ae needed a nap, Faa Mai knew whom to turn to.

Elephant videos from this and many other places can be found on the elephantnews YouTube channel.
posted by Johnny Wallflower (17 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:18 PM on June 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm not crying, you're ... no, wait, that's definitely me crying.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:26 PM on June 3, 2018 [10 favorites]

This is the sweetest thing I've seen in ages.

I think that the elephant can feel that we are about to become extinct together in a little while, and she takes comfort in a bit of tenderness and closeness with another living being, before we are both gone. The burning trees must feel it too, and the dolphins.
posted by growabrain at 6:28 PM on June 3, 2018 [14 favorites]

That's utterly the most sweet thing I've ever encountered. My cats don't give a shit about me singing to them.
posted by hippybear at 6:42 PM on June 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

Have you tried sitting underneath them in a field and rubbing their legs while you sing?
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:14 PM on June 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

Yes. I still bear the scars to this day.
posted by hippybear at 7:20 PM on June 3, 2018 [14 favorites]

If you're into elephants (and of course you are), Yashar Ali has become the de facto Twitter spokesperson for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. I considered posting an obit thread about Dame Daphne Sheldrick, who passed recently, but there were so many other obits at that time that I held off.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 7:20 PM on June 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

I had a two year old. Well, I still have her at 8, we didn't lose her in couch cushions, but for the purpose of this post, she was two. She needs her first dental checkup. My dentist growing up was Dr. Kates, in Newport! He... he... he still has a practice! It's a 45 minute drive, but we make sure to make it. HE STILL HAS BRISTLE-BLOCKS IN THE WAITING ROOM AND GIANT AIR-FILLED BANNANA BALOONS AS REWARDS! My girl, due to genetics rather than hygene or diet, needs some work done. OMG THAT IS DR. KATES TELLING HER SHE'S A GOOD GIRL AND SHE HAS GOOD TEETH AND SHE IS VERY BRAVE. Bristle-blocks in the waiting room, dude. I felt so comfortable and secure.

I really get where this elephant is coming from.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:35 PM on June 3, 2018 [11 favorites]

She settled down in the grass underneath the two elephants and started singing, and they held each other's trunks as they listened along.

And that, dear reader, is when I lost it. And I already lost it earlier today! It's been a day.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:23 PM on June 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

One of the linked videos on the elephant news channel is an adult elephant helping another female's newborn figure out how to nurse. I sent it to my sister who spent some years as a (human) lactation consultant. The idea that there might be non-human lactation consultants is fascinating.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 8:38 PM on June 3, 2018 [9 favorites]

So cute!
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 9:17 PM on June 3, 2018

Love how she's not only completely ready to sit down and sing with them, but also completely aware about her need to keep moving to keep some structure protecting her from suddenly shifting pachyderms.

Videos like this only deepen my struggle about things like animal treatment, lord knows my 6 fuzzy nimrods are beautifully cared for, but that's a not even a microscopic dint in the world's needs.
posted by drewbage1847 at 9:52 PM on June 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is the sweetest thing!

We are particularly attached to the elephants at our Zoo. Lucas, the younger of two bulls born at our Zoo, turned 7 yesterday, and there was a huge perty. He really enjoyed all the attention.

It's a real treat to visit our little herd in the middle of the week when no one is there. They know their regular visitors, respond to their names, and like to show off.

Heffalumps are awesome.
posted by MissySedai at 10:13 PM on June 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

I once walked in on an elephant couple in the zoo in Tucson. I stayed quiet, but the young bull saw me and came over and hosed me with a trunkfull of water. Getting to see an elephant mating in real life was not to be.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:50 AM on June 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

"Hey, you've got better things to do than shmooze with the tourists!"

Loved her running commentary as she was trying to figure out what Faa Mai wanted - "What if I go left? Is it okay if I go left?" - and seeing what happened. Then she saw the calf and sped up to head straight for him.
posted by Mogur at 6:26 AM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is... wow. This is beyond cute, beyond sweet. It's so, so pure. Love and trust, in their most plain, genuine forms.
posted by FirstMateKate at 12:43 PM on June 4, 2018

I've seen Lek Chailet and her sanctuary in at least one BBC Natural World production but I can't recall which one and I regularly check out the YouTube channel.

Looking forward to Love and Bananas. As usual with any sanctuary story I find it incredibly difficult to watch the cruelty animals are subjected to but it must be documented and it must be stopped. I still haven't been able to watch Red Ape: Saving the Orangutan because what's happening is so heart breaking.
posted by juiceCake at 4:53 PM on June 4, 2018

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