For those of us who have an appreciation for animals but don’t really read much on each species, our knowledge remains pretty shallow. We only have a vague idea on certain aspects like physique, temperament, and habitat.
Take elephants for example.
We know they’re large, herbivorous land mammals with distinctive features: large ear flaps, tusks, long trunks. We also know that elephants inhabit forests, savannahs, and even deserts.
Animated films, television shows, and illustrated books often portray elephants as gentle and adorable creatures and for good reason.
There have been countless documented instances where elephants eagerly initiate interaction with humans – an always welcome treat that makes them more endearing than usual.
Apart from being irresistibly cute and friendly, elephants are quite intelligent too.
For instance, did you know African elephants can actually identify languages and distinguish differences in gender, age, and ethnicity through the sound of one’s voice? And not to limit them as simply harmless creatures that are generally friendly towards humans, elephants can also tell if the voice belongs to someone who is more likely to pose a threat. This will cause them to switch into defensive mode.
As if that wasn’t impressive enough, they have the ability to utilize tools, too!
“Elephants have been known to use sticks to scratch themselves in areas they couldn’t otherwise reach, and fashion fly swatters out of branches or grass.”
Elephants are also great at understanding human body language.
These gentle giants are able to show empathy, too. There have been sightings of elephants visibly comforting other distressed elephants by stroking them with their trunks. Amazing, aren’t they?
And as a reminder of just how incredibly intelligent, fun, and adorable elephants are, here’s a baby elephant laughing as it played freely in an open field.
A baby elephant at the Maevang Elephant Camp in Chiang Mai, Thailand, was seen playing happily with its caretaker who obviously looked rather fond of the animal.
Humans looked on with delight as the baby elephant trotted towards a man dragging a blue basket on the ground. The man, who was also enjoying every bit of playtime with the baby elephant, would first drag the basket in the elephant’s direction then away from the happy animal, causing it to laugh and run around excitedly.
The baby elephant would then run to its mother, then back to the man with the blue basket.
Whenever the elephant would poke the blue basket with its trunk, the man would drag it away playfully, prompting more laughter from the baby elephant.
Of course there will always be the realistic ones who would point out that perhaps it isn’t really giggling, that maybe science has an in-depth explanation for the elephant’s amusing (and heartwarming!) reaction and the sound it would make as it played happily. And that’s okay.
We just prefer seeing it a bit differently: a baby animal having such a grand time in a safe, open space that it just can’t help but giggle every time its caretaker would attempt to play.