Elephants really are one of the most incredible animals in the world. They’re big, majestic creatures that can display an extraordinary amount of intelligence and personality.
Getting to see one in the wild is truly a sight to behold — and one driver not only got to see a parade of elephants pass by in front of him, but he got an unexpected “thanks” from them.
The viral video was originally posted by TikTok user @thanakrit8181, and was reportedly filmed in the Sanam Chaikhet District, Chachoengsao Province in central Thailand.
The video was shot by a driver of a vehicle that has stopped in the road to let a herd of elephants pass by.
The large, majestic herd — consisting of elephants big and small — makes their way across the road, with the humans keeping a safe distance to let them pass.
Elephant crossings like this aren’t that unusual, but an unexpected gesture from one of the elephants made this an especially memorable encounter.
As the parade of elephants reaches the end, one of the final elephants turns to the car waiting in the road, and makes a gesture with its trunk as if to say “thanks!”
There’s something very familiar about the gesture: It’s the kind of “wave” you’d give another human driver for giving you the right of way on the road to show your thanks. It’s just one of the many ways elephants have exhibited human-like behavior.
Watch the video below:
The video has now been viewed millions of times on different social media platforms.
We can’t know for sure what this elephant was thinking, and since the video went viral there has been some debate about what the elephant’s gesture actually meant.
While many saw the elephant’s trunk wave as a friendly “thank you,” some saw it as a threat from a protective elephant, as if to say “don’t follow us.”
While that is possible, others have said that the elephants don’t appear to feel threatened by the cars, and elephants have the ability to recognize when humans are kind to them, so it’s possible it really was just a quick “hey, thanks buddy” from the elephant.
It’s definitely an incredible sight to see, and must’ve been an unbelievable moment for that driver.
What a sweet story. The elephants seem to really appreciate the man letting them cross the road ❤️🐘
Please share this adorable video if you love elephants!