In 2004, an elephant saved a girl’s life in Thailand when a tsunami occurred. The girl was riding on the elephant before it hit and the elephant was able to take her to higher ground without trying to throw her off. Today, the girl’s family donates to elephant charities in Thailand.

Girl recalls how baby elephant braved the 2004 tsunami and swirling current to save her

Amber Owen from United Kingdom recollected her month-long winter holiday with her parents back in 2004 and how she was saved by an elephant when a tsunami hit the Phuket beach in Thailand.

Owen was just 8 years old at that time and she was there with her mother, Samantha and stepfather, Eddie.

Every morning, Owen would run to the beach near the hotel to see her favorite 4-year-old elephant, Ning Nong.

“I will feed Ning Nong every morning. I will feed it bananas and ride on its back along the shore. He would wrap his trunk around my shoulder as I feed him bananas,” recalled Owen.

In their hotel just above the beach, little did the family know that a small tremor they experienced that morning will lead to something bigger. No … Continue Reading (3 minute read)

14 thoughts on “In 2004, an elephant saved a girl’s life in Thailand when a tsunami occurred. The girl was riding on the elephant before it hit and the elephant was able to take her to higher ground without trying to throw her off. Today, the girl’s family donates to elephant charities in Thailand.”

  1. Khysamgathys

    “When a tsunami occurred” is an underwhelming way to say the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

  2. Scoundrelic

    Trust the elephant you’re riding, even if it wants to take you indoors.

    Don’t ignore the elephant in the room.

  3. Comedian03

    *”Owen’s family has never heard of Ning Nong ever again. “*

    Ok I need to know what happened to Ning Nong.

  4. Jessejia

    should donate to elephant sanctuaries in thailand and stop riding the elephants. that shit is horrible for them.

  5. Yeti-lover

    Elephants are very intelligent, social and helpful animals. And humans abuse them and treat them like garbage.

  6. eplantagenet

    Elephants are the best

  7. miasabine

    A friend and classmate of mine died in that tsunami, her and her mum. Her dad survived, but only just, after saving a young boy. People afterwards did talk about animals moving inland prior to the tsunami hitting but I always took that with a grain of salt, personally. I know there are many things animals sense that humans don’t, but I also know we humans have a tendency to anthropomorphise these animals and ascribe some innate and almost spiritual wisdom and foreknowledge to animals when they’re really just paying attention to signs in nature that we humans tend to ignore.

    In any case, it’s a sweet story. I hope the elephant was okay.

  8. natehiggers1350

    I read about an elephant in India I think it was, they were using it to carry big logs of wood for something, and they dug a hole for the pole to go into but a little dog curled up and went to sleep in the hole and the elephant refused to put the pole in until they moved the doggo

  9. Greatgobbldygook

    I may be old old curmudgeon, but I suspect the elephant would have headed for higher ground girl or no girl. She was just along for the ride.

  10. Mulufuf

    I believe most of the captive elephants in Thailand were released at the beginning of covid-19 because no tourist money.

  11. Shower-philosopher

    There’s a good Michael Morpurgo book “Running Wild” based on this story

  12. dan-456

    In other words an elephant followed its natural instinct to survive a tsunami and its human cargo happened to survive too.

  13. aitchnyu

    Obi-Wan Keniphant vs Anakin Seastalker

  14. ImpSong

    While on holiday in Kenya and walking through the bush a man comes across an elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seems distressed so the man approaches very carefully. He gets down on one knee and inspects the bottom of the elephant’s foot only to find a large thorn deeply embedded. As carefully and as gently as he can he removes the thorn and the elephant gingerly puts its foot down. The elephant turns to face the man and with a rather stern look on its face, stares at him. For a good ten minutes the man stands frozen – thinking of nothing else but being trampled.

    Eventually the elephant turns and walks away.

    For years after, the man often remembers and ponders the events of that day. Years later the man is walking through the zoo with his son. As they approach the elephant enclosure, one of the elephants turns and walks over to where they are standing at the rail. It stares at him and the man can’t help wondering if this is the same elephant. The man climbs tentatively over the railing and makes his way into the enclosure. He walks right up to the elephant and stares back in wonder. Suddenly the elephant wraps its trunk around one of the man’s legs and swings him wildly back and forth along the railing, instantly killing him.

    Probably not the same elephant then.

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