This is the incredible moment a hero elephant cleared away fallen trees that were blocking a road causing traffic jams.
The large tamarind trees had blown over on a country road causing gridlocked queues after tropical storms battered Nakhon Sawan, central Thailand on May 12 afternoon.
A lorry driver struck in the jam, named Khun Lamead, had his male elephant, Jaruek, in the back when he saw locals struggling to remove the trees.
With the branches clearly to heavy to lift without tractors, Lamead had the idea to team up with his elephant and clear them.
Lamead opened the back of the truck and mounted the 52-year-old bull before walking down the street and starting to work as amazed motorists looked on.
Lamead, who is also the elephant’s mahout, said: “I brought Jaruek down and whispered to him, ‘Jareuk, please help me clear the road, traffic cannot move.’ Then, he knew what to do and walked straight to those fallen trees.’’
The clever elephant followed the man’s command and used his trunk to lift every branch he was told to. He remained calm and obedient throughout the duty.
The heroic elephant and his master spent about 30 minutes clearing the road, allowing the traffic to move again. Passersby were cheering and applauding the pair and some even gave the elephant money to show their appreciation.
Kampon Surarit, a truck driver who witnessed the incident, said: “I was very surprised when I saw the elephant following his mahout’s orders and walking towards the trees.
“The elephant was very smart and obedient. Their relationship seemed to be very close. We were very thankful for what they did.”
Lamead said that it was the first time his elephant did such hard labour because he was only trained to take part in ceremonies.
He added: “Jareuk is a happy and easygoing elephant. He is very popular and loved by the audiences who come see his shows.
“I was also surprised he did such a great job for his first time. I hope he knows how many people appreciated him.”