While it may not be true that elephants never forget, this video shows that they can have a capacity for remembering things and that they occasionally get themselves ɪɴ ᴛʀᴏᴜʙʟᴇ-like humans.
The former zookeeper, Peter Adamson, has wonderful memories from the time when he took care of Kristy the Asian elephant at a zoo in Scotland. From feeding, to washing, to training, these two spent many hours throughout the years bonding. That’s a long time for anyone to remember anything! But when Adamson took a trip through Germany, he caught wind that Kristy was living at a zoo not too far from him.
While Adamson was staying with some friends in Germany, he found out that Kristy was still ᴀʟɪᴠᴇ and well and had been transferred to Neunkircher Zoo. Since the zoo was just a short distance from where he was visiting, he knew he had to make an effort to reunite with his old elephant friend. He had lost track of her when she left Scotland.
It’s remarkable that Kristy was still ᴀʟɪᴠᴇ and in good health, because she had reached 52 years in age. The typical life expectancy for Asian elephants is 48 years old. The number of Asian elephants has unfortunately “ᴘʟᴜᴍᴍᴇᴛᴇᴅ by at least 50% in the past three generations” because of habitat ʟᴏss and ᴘᴏᴀᴄʜɪɴɢ. Thanks to kind caretakers like Adamson, we can hopefully see that the remaining Asian elephant population in zoos will continue to thrive and grow.
Adamson contacted the zoo and officials arranged the emotional reunion. After he contacted the Neunkircher Zoo, the employees there were able to arrange a special reunion for Kristy and her former trainer while he was in Germany. After three decades of being sᴇᴘᴀʀᴀᴛᴇᴅ from each other, Adamson finally got to reunite with his old friend Kirsty and it seemed that Kirsty recognized him as they shared a warm hug in their ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ `warming reunion.
In their reunion, Adamson blows into her trunk to remind Kristy of his particular scent. The technique works, because Kristy then leans in and nuzzles Adamson gently. He stroked Kirsty’s trunk and the elephant gave a response by curling her trunk around him. Although Kristy is a ʜᴜɢᴇ animal, she is very gentle with Adamson, knowing she could ʜᴜʀᴛ him with her strength. But nobody gets ʜᴜʀᴛ here. He whispers into Kristy’s ear, and the reunion is quite ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ warming. Mr Adamson said: “Of course, I was wondering if there was any truth to the phrase ‘elephants never forget’. That she allowed me to get close and accepted me was a very emotional experience for me. I will always keep that memory in my ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ.”
The Scotsman said he will try to visit Kirsty as much as possible now he knows where she lives. Mr Adamson had found Kirsty’s whereabouts by searching online and made contact with the German zookeepers through friends in the city of Trier. Her current zookeepers said: “After a colourful life with several moves around European zoos she has found Kirsty retirement retreat with us.”