Baby elephant is greeted with a hug after arriving in sanctuary, meets her new best friend

Elephants are such incredible, majestic animals. They are amazingly intelligent, and display a human-like ability to form friendships with each other.

Like two young orphaned elephants, who found each other and formed a close loving bond when they needed it the most.

Elephant Nature Park is a rescue and rehabilitation center in Thailand that provides a natural environment for elephants in need of help. Elephants like Chaba and her mother, who arrived at the sanctuary last year after being rescued from a tourist attraction.

While she was in good hands, Chaba was initially quite hesitant about her new surroundings — until another baby elephant decided to make her her best friend.

Pyi Mai, a young elephant who had also arrived at the shelter with her mom after being saved from tourism, came over and locked Chaba’s trunk in her own — as if giving her a comforting hug.

“It was as if Pyi Mai was saying, ‘Welcome home!’” park projects director Ry Emmerson told The Dodo. “We knew then they were going to be the best of friends!”

After that, Chaba no longer worried, because she had a new best friend to play with at the sanctuary.

“Pyi Mai and Chaba do everything together,” Elephant Nature Park wrote on Facebook. “Whether playing in the water, or in the mud, or even eating food, they are happiest together.”

“[Their] happiness abounds when with each other. Both of them will continue to grow in this most beloved bond, best friends forever.”

They truly had the most heartwarming friendship: their bond represented how sociable and happy elephants can be when they’re not in captivity being used for entertainment.

“Pyi Mai and Chaba are as happy as children should be,” the sanctuary wrote, sharing a sweet video of the two playing and exploring a big pile of dirt.

“They are confident in their expressions. They can play wherever they want. This is what all baby elephant deserve. We are so happy to see them growing up with joy and freedom.”

They’re also an example of the kind of personal relationships and communication skills that elephants are capable of.

“They are constantly communicating through vocalizations and touch,” Emmerson told The Dodo. “If one of the babies wanders away from her friend, the other will immediately call [for her] to come back … The love they show to each other is pure and unconditional. It’s something we can all learn from and so heartwarming to witness.”

“They are both extremely gentle, loving and playful elephants. We lovingly call them ‘double trouble.’ They are inseparable, always playing and getting up to mischief together — just as they should!”

It’s clear these two elephants are BFFs, and we’re so glad they have each other to play with and keep each other company! All elephants deserve to be this happy and free!

Please share this story if you love elephants! ❤️🐘