18/04/2024

Elephant Cub Saved 8-Year-Old Girl’s Life Before The Tsunami – 12 Years Later She Thanks Him And Told This Story Again

Elephant Cub Saved 8-Year-Old Girl’s Life Before The Tsunami – 12 Years Later She Thanks Him And Told This Story Again

She was in Thailand on holiday when an elephant ride on the beach turned into an extraordinary tale of both heroic courage and the wonder of animal instinct. Giving a kid had one more life.

It was a once- in-a-lifetime, month-long trip for eight-year-old Amber, her mother Samantha and stepfather Eddie arrived at Phuket, Thailand a few days before the ᴅɪsᴀsᴛᴇʀ, and they stayed in a seaside hotel where she met Ning Nong, a young elephant cub. Each morning, Amber would rush down to the beach to see the elephants that ferried children up and down outside the Sheraton hotel, where her family was staying.

‘The elephants carried us along the beach and into the sea,’ recalls Amber, now 20 and living in Milton Keynes.

She continues: ‘On the morning of the tsunami there was a small earthquake about eight in the morning, but we didn’t think much about it. I was riding along the beach on Ning Nong after breakfast and I could tell he was anxious and kept turning away from the sea. As he edged inland, a huge wave rushed up to his shoulders.”

Clinging to the back of the elephant as the waves threatened to engulf them, Amber watched in terror as flailing fellow holidaymakers disappeared beneath the breakers. A painful, devastated scene unfolded before the eyes of an eight-year-old, unknown. Just moments before, the tide had suddenly receded, While some people ran to pick up the fish scattered across the beach when the waves went out, the elephant became agitated at once. He knew something was wrong and began running as fast as he could inland.

‘The mahout elephant trainer kept trying to get him to come back down the beach towards the sea but he wouldn’t go. He kept pulling away and trying to run from it, it seems that the elephant has predicted something bad, ᴅɪsᴀsᴛᴇʀ is coming.But it was this amazing animal instinct that saved her life when the wall of waves hit. Amber’s mother was only alerted to the ᴅɪsᴀsᴛᴇʀ when she heard screams from the beach. Unbeknown to Samantha, Ning Nong was already heading inland, forcing his body forward as he waded against the strong currents now swirling around his shoulders. The sturdy elephant had managed to climb up the beach, straining to brace himself against the force of the water. As trees and fell houses, he remains standing.

He only stopped when he found a small wall then, wedging himself beside the stone shelf, he withstood the powerful pressure of the rising water long enough for Amber to scramble on to the wall to safety. He knew the signs that something bad was going to happen and he carried me to safety.

“I remember being so scared but so relieved, he saved my life. I will always be grateful and it’s made me more appreciative of life. It taught me at a very young age that terrible things can happen in an instant and life can be changed for ever. ‘ says Amber.

For Samantha her gratitude to Ning Nong remains intact. She still sends money each year towards the upkeep of Phuket’s elephants.

Samantha adds: ‘That’s when I saw Ning Nong in the distance, at the other end of the beach, by the wall, with Amber on his back. I was almost hysterical with relief. We grabbed her, then ran to the hotel. We just made it to our first-floor room when, less than ten minutes later, the next wave came in and swept two ground-floor rooms away.’

The family was lucky that their hotel was not too badly ᴅᴀᴍᴀɢᴇᴅ, and three days later they were able to fly hom

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