Veterinarian Pattarapol Mani was making his way through the dense thickets of a nature reserve in the Thai jungle when he suddenly heard the soft cry of an elephant. The man immediately recognized the voice because 12 years ago he was caring for an elephant named Plai Thang.
Each animal has its own sound, although it may seem to the average person that they are all the same. Therefore, veterinarian Pattarapol Mani immediately recognized the former patient.
When the man finally saw the elephant in front of him, he waved at it.
The animal took a few steps forward and then held out its trunk to the vet. According to Pattarapol, Plai Thang recognized him.
In 2009, Pattarapol saw Plai Thang for the first time. The elephant was later found in critical condition in Rayong Forest. The animal was diagnosed with trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness. It is caused by the tsetse fly parasite Trypanosoma brucei.
In addition, the baby elephant suffered from various painful symptoms – fever, iron deficiency, conjunctivitis, swelling of the face, abdomen, neck and stiffness of movement. Plai Thang was very aggressive. He was weak and couldn’t resist the other elephants.
“The treatment was long. But during this time, we were able to find out what intelligent animal we were dealing with, ”recalls Pattarapol Mani.
The elephant was then taken to the Lampang Province Forestry Department Wildlife Sanctuary, where it continued to be treated.
After successful treatment, Plai Thang was released.
After 12 years, the elephant has not forgotten the vet who saved his life. “An incredible and very personal moment… It is for moments like this that I have chosen this profession,” added Mani.