Cuddling is a physical expression of affection. It’s often an easy way for an animal and person who don’t speak the same language to show their love. While this is most often seen between a dog and a person, other animals can also cuddle to show their affection for someone.
Two-month-old elephant Tara is the perfect example of this. Tara loves hugging her human visitors.
She is an Asian elephant (Elephas Maximus). A herbivore that can grow anywhere from 7 to 10 feet and weigh in at 2 to 6 tons. These mammals are endangered and at Patara Elephant Farm, these massive mammals are cared for and can live their lives free from all the known cruelties inflicted upon their species.
YouTube channel and uploader Vivian H. shared this cute video of her visit to the farm with a man named Arthur.
Patara Elephant Farm has a program called “Elephant Owner for a day” which allows visitors to have a hands-on experience with these creatures. People are taught to care for, groom, feed, and even ride an elephant. Arthur and Vivian chose to visit this farm because she says,
“Unlike other elephant parks in Chiang Mai, the staff and owners at Patara focus solely on the healthcare and the breeding management for these endangered species and aid the recovery process for elephants injured by mine bombs – tourists come second. “
These two had to work hard and learn everything there was to know about caring for these magnificent animals.
They helped feed them their daily meals, bathing, scrubbing, and washing the elephants in the river, and even inspecting the elephants’ stools. Must be fun.
At the end of the day though, Arthur and Vivian made a new friend in little Tara.
Arthur called out to the elephant calf and surprisingly, she responded well to his calls.
Tara immediately walks over in to Arthur’s outreached arms for an embrace and uses her head and weight to tackle her human friend to the ground amidst the laughter. Cute!
Elephant young can weigh in anywhere from 200-260 pounds and to have that much weight walking towards you and pinning you to the ground for cuddles will be a workout.
Arthur seems to be enjoying himself, though.
He struggles to get her off so he can stand but Tara isn’t done! She pins his right leg down and lays on top of it drawing obvious delight from onlookers. What’s Arthur going to do? Hug Tara some more, of course!
Arthur muscles up and slowly pushes Tara off.
Well, this adorable calf must have thought it was a game because she uses her weight to wrestle him down again. This time she really puts all her bulk on top of Arthur. Someone count Arthur out!
Tara finally backs off and lets Arthur stand. She gets more pats and rubs as a result.
This cute exchange between man and animal has over 21.3 million views. What’s even more remarkable is that Tara’s mom didn’t seem to mind the presence of humans interacting with and playing with her calf. Elephants are very protective of their young and will charge at anyone who gets too close.
This is a testament then to the hardworking men and women of this farm who have created friendships with these beautiful mammals.
And surely Tara will never forget her new friend.
Arthur and Tara are an adorable pair, and Tara is like a big puppy when she’s playing. So adorable!