Elephants are known for their stellar memory. They literally never forget the people, the events and information they have gathered throughout their lifetime, which also makes them one of the smartest mammals out there.
It was 1967 when Peter Adamson was assigned to be the zookeeper in Calderpark Zoo in Scotland. His main job was to be the caretaker for Kirsty, an Asian elephant who was with him for 20 years before she was moved around to several other zoos.
When they first met, Kirsty was still a baby.
Peter took care of her like he would a child, feeding her, bathing her and looking after her every needs. Kirsty too, probably thought of Peter as her own family, since she was brought to the zoo shortly after she was born.
Over the years, Peter tried to locate his long-separated animal-child but to no avail, until he received news that she was living in Neunkirchen Zoo in Saarland, Germany.
Peter, hair grayed and skin wrinkled over the course of time, decided it was time to pay Kirsty a visit. A meet-up was arranged, and Peter grew more and more anxious wondering how Kirsty would react upon seeing him.
He wasn’t sure if she even remembers him. The moment came and they both met face to face. Peter stood there waiting for Kirsty’s reaction when suddenly, she walked towards him and wrapped her trunk around him in a warm embrace.
She immediately recognized him as he called out to her. She remembered his voice. It was an emotional experience for Peter, he just stood her hugging Kirsty, probably reminiscing their memories together.
Now that he found her, Peter expresses his desire to visit her more often. The zoo management agrees to it and explains that Kirsty has been nothing but a calm, composed sweetheart enjoying her older days in the facility.
It’s true that elephants never forget. They return the kindness and compassion they receive in ten folds.