Watch a Polite Elephant Return a Child’s Shoe They Dropped

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Written by Alan Lemus

Updated: November 15, 2023

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There is absolutely no doubt that elephants are incredibly social animals. However, a rare video has emerged that demonstrates this. An elephant is seen returning a child’s shoe that had accidentally fallen in its enclosure. This scene was captured at a zoo in Shandong Province, China.

In the beautiful clip, the elephant lifts the shoe using his trunk and hands it over to someone on the other side of the fence. The elephant’s decision to return the shoe is both rare and surprising.

Are Elephants Friendly to Humans?

Elephants have a wide range of emotions and can suffer from depression if they feel isolated for an extended period or are unhappy. This makes them unpredictable and dangerous because they may lash out at people who come too close to them.

Tuskless elephant

Elephants express a depth of emotional intelligence as well as having famously adept memories.

Most elephant attacks are not fatal, as elephants usually want to get away from humans. Instead, elephant attacks occur when an elephant feels threatened or provoked by someone or something it believes is harming its family or territory.

Signs That an Elephant May Attack

The first step toward preventing an elephant attack is learning to recognize when it is getting angry or upset so you can avoid it as much as possible. 

Here are some signs that an elephant may attack:

African elephant at watering hole

While elephants are typically gentle and kind when interacting with humans, they can become dangerous when agitated.

Trumpeting Loudly and Continuously

An elephant’s trunk is used for smelling and breathing, but it can also be used for communication. They use their trunks to trumpet, pick up things from the ground, and even swat their tusks against trees to mark their territory. If they trumpet loudly and continuously, they are agitated and possibly angry at something or someone around them.

Raising Its Ears in an Aggressive Posture

An elephant raising its ears in an aggressive posture indicates that it is unhappy with someone or something around it and may attack. It will also try to stare down at you to show dominance over you.

Charging at You

If you see an elephant charging at you, get out of its way immediately. If you cannot escape, lie down on the ground with your hands on your head. Stand up only if the elephant stops coming towards you.

Stamping its Feet

An elephant that stomps its feet does so because it feels threatened by something or someone nearby. It may also stomp its feet when an animal comes near that it does not like or trust. It does this to scare the animal away from its territory.

Elephants have excellent hearing and can detect the slightest movement up to two miles (three kilometers) away. They also have sharp eyesight and often notice predators before the other herd members see them. To warn others of danger, an elephant usually stomps its feet on the ground or shakes trees with its trunks to get other elephants’ attention.

More Amazing Elephant Videos You Might Like

The elephant above is a perfect showcase of the pachyderm’s softer, more sensitive side, as well as their amazing levels of intellect. In this next heartwarming showcase of elephants’ special bond with humans, you can witness a pack of elephants trumpet with joy as they’re reunited with a former caretaker after many years apart. It just goes to show that the old saying is true, “an elephant never forgets!”

Elephants are among the most intelligent animals on the planet. They have a good memory, can use tools, and have excellent hearing and smell. In addition to being intelligent, elephants are also friendly. But not all elephants are this way.

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About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

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