Rescued Elephant Is All Alone Until A Voice From Her Past Calls Out At The Most Perfect Moment

Unless you literally live under a rock, you’ve likely heard that elephants have the best memories in the animal kingdom—they never forget! Not only that, but give ’em a memory puzzle and they’ll (allegedly) knock it out of the park.

Is there any truth to that, though? Surely there’s an elephant out there who’s skipped a meal or wandered away from the herd and never found his way back. One elephant-lover might’ve found the answer to that question when he visited his former pet…

They say an elephant never forgets, but that’s hard to believe. Even humans—as advanced as we are—forget simple things. For a giant animal that’s known to be afraid of mice to never forget, well, it just sounds a bit far-fetched. But maybe it isn’t…

FHR Network / YouTube

Take Sunita the elephant, for instance. Unlike most elephants, she didn’t spend a lifetime grazing on the plains of Africa or India. Instead, she spent most of her youth in the hands of elephant-fanatic Charlie Frank and his wife, Madeline.

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

Charlie adopted Sunita in 1955 when she was just five years old. He loved elephants, and along with his wife, he wanted to share the immensely-talented and well-trained Sunita—or “Nita,” as he called her—with the world.

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

With Sunita at their side, Charlie and Madeline marched in parades, performed in circuses, and even hit up Hollywood! Sunita’s lifestyle taxed her brain as she learned stage directions and circus routines.

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

But despite sharing the big screen with celebrities like Lucille Ball, it wouldn’t be until decades later—long after her performance career ended—that Sunita’s memory was truly tested.

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

In 1971, Charlie—finally feeling the wear-and-tear of old age—retired from show business. Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly easy for him to bring Sunita back with him and his wife to their home in the suburbs.

The Daily Herald

Faced with a dilemma as to what to do with his long-time friend and companion, Charlie considered selling Sunita. But he just couldn’t bear it; he couldn’t risk someone treating her poorly.

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

Instead, Charlie and Madeline donated Sunita to the Wild Animal Park in San Diego. The elephant would be afforded the opportunity to roam with other elephants on open plains.

Anne McKinnel

For 15 years, that’s where Sunita lived, and for 15 years, Charlie and Madeline never saw their elephant companion. After Madeline passed away, and with his own health declining, Charlie knew he needed to see his old pachyderm pal again. After so much time, would she remember him?

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

Would she be able to recognize him even though he was far more gray? Or would her memory be lost in the blur of a long, complex past? Charlie simply had to find out once and for all…

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

Accompanied by cameras, Charlie approached the enclosed area Sunita had spent the past 15 years. He spotted her immediately from about 100 yards away. He cupped his hands over his mouth and called to her…

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

“Nita! Nita! What’re you doing out there?” Charlie playfully said to the elephant. “C’mon! C’mon! Hurry up! Something’s liable to get you out there. You better come running.” Sunita didn’t look like she would budge…

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

But then, she moved. “You better get over here,” Charlie said. You could just hear the excitement and love in his voice as he extended a hand, holding out a little something to coax Sunita into moving faster.

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

Charlie waved his hand, which was filled with Sunita’s favorite treat—jelly beans—and the elephant rushed toward her old trainer. She opened up her mouth and let Charlie feed her the sweet snack, just like the good old days!

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

If there was any chance Sunita had forgotten her old friend, it vanished as the two seemingly picked up where they’d left off 15 years ago. Still, Charlie wasn’t the only thing Sunita remembered…

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

After talking with the elephant and feeding her more jelly beans, Charlie led Sunita out of the elephant enclosure towards something they were both familiar with: the circus ring.

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

There in that ring, under the warm San Diego sunshine, an aging Charlie led Sunita through the routine they’d developed decades ago. Both had some rust to shake off, but for the most part, they nailed the routine!

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

At nearly 60 years old, Sunita couldn’t exactly move with the swiftness she had in her youth; she even had to eat her jelly beans lying down. Still, she remembered all of her old tricks.

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

“As a rule, they’re a friend for life if you take care of them,” Charlie said about elephants. He was confident the elephant truly remembered him. “She wouldn’t work for somebody that she didn’t know.”

Kramer Agatha / YouTube

In the end, Sunita the elephant was able to remember the man who changed her life. Just take a look at all of their amazing, memory-filled interactions in the footage below!

What a lovely reunion between this elephant and her owner! It’s great to see all the fame didn’t go to her head. She still remembered her old routine!

Share this spectacular elephant with your friends below!

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