Elephants are not only among the most intelligent animals in nature, they are perhaps the most emotional as well. At least, elephants display their full range of emotions as expressively as any other creature on Earth.
Studies have shown that one of the most commonly displayed emotions among elephants is pure joy. Elephants go through elaborate rituals expressing their happiness over the return of once absent family members. They run, they flap their ears, they rub up against each other — those and a wide range of other exuberant behaviors and gestures make up the elephant’s way of expressing their sheer delight.
Another big one for elephants is love, particularly the love between a mother and child. In fact, the maternal bond has been shown to last as long as 50 years.
All of that is what makes this little video so delightful — and fascinating. Not to mention funny. Taken at the Pittsburgh Zoo in 2008, the elation of the baby elephant in this clip is plain to see. But it’s not her mother that sends her into paroxysms of joy. It’s the mere sight of the man who serves as her keeper at the zoo.
Watch what happens when this little — and by “little” we mean over 300 pounds — elephant tries to show her affection for this man. You have to feel for the guy. He’s made a friend for life, clearly. But it can’t be easy when an elephant decides the thing it wants to do most in the world is sit on your lap.