An elephant named Sunyei was found all alone in the forests of Kenya. She was just a baby and had lost her mother at an early age. Rescuers spotted the frightened baby elephant just in time and took her in.
The elephant was taken care of by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya, whose staff immediately took her to their sanctuary. There they took care of Sania and gave her everything she needed. She also got a permanent foster parent named Benjamin.
“That a fully grown, wild-living elephant had the desire to introduce a new baby that very same morning to the human family that raised her, speaks volumes about their intelligence and their sense of family: We can think of no other reason than she returned to a place of safety to show off her new baby to her keepers, with whom she still maintains close bonds!” Rob Brandford, executive director of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, told The Dodo.
Sanja trusted this man with all her heart. She grew up under his care, learning what true love and friendship are. They were best friends, and the elephant girl always recognized Benjamin and was glad to see him.
A few years later she was released into the wild, but she hasn’t forgotten her foster’s kindness. Now the elephant has a baby herself, and recently she came to the reserve to visit the people who raised her. She took her baby with her to introduce him to everyone.
Since Sanja was released into the wild, this is not the first time she has come to visit her foster parent and once again to thank them for rescuing her. According to sanctuary staff, this behavior speaks volumes about Sanja’s high intelligence.
“Though Sunyei has grown up calling Benjamin and our keepers her family, even so, any interactions her keepers enjoy with her are always on her terms,” Bradford said. “That’s what makes this moment so very special … that she chose to share this moment with Benjamin and trusted him to do so.”