The elephant, named Chabakeaw, was rescued in Thailand earlier this year

By Helen Murphy
October 02, 2019 03:32 PM

A 2-year-old elephant named Chabakeaw returned to her former caretaker and sweetly curled up on his lap after she was rejected by her herd in the wild.

In adorable footage of the moment, Chabakeaw can be seen walking up to her caretaker and slowly lying down, eventually resting her head on his lap. According to the Daily Mail, the elephant was first found orphaned and trapped in mud in northeastern Thailand earlier this year.

She was rescued by wildlife officers in April, and was raised and nurtured by the officers for five months until they decided to release her back to her herd on Sept. 18.

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However, just two days later, the officers found that Chabakeaw had been abandoned by the herd again. They took her back into their care — where she wasted no time in curling up on her former caretaker’s lap.

Pichet Noonto, an elephant specialist with the IUCN Species Survival Commission, said that Chabakeaw would have had trouble rejoining the herd after spending so many months with humans, the Daily Mail reported.

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“We believe that she was not accepted by the herd leader which is a consequence of her being raised by humans for over five months,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “She would have had difficulty adapting to the elephant behavior in the wild and been kicked away.”

“We will take care of her while we plan her future, but sending her back to the herd again might not be one of the options,” he added.