When the Tsunami hit Thailand in Christmas 2004, the owner Laithongrien Meepan was devasted. Besides donating blood, medicine and money straight away, he still felt it was not enough. So he decided to go to Khao Lak taking two of his bulls, twelve staff and his family to give the most practical help he could. He knew his elephants could traverse terrain that vehicles could not. So he could use them to remove debris and recover bodies.
It was his way of showing his gratitude to all the tourists that had helped his elephants over the years
The extraordianary thing was that after a couple of days the elephants were stopping on their own accord even when they were being urged on. It turned out with their acute sense of smell the elephants were locating bodies before even the sniffer dogs were. The team stayed a week and recovered 63 bodies. They also trained elephants in the area to continue the work after they left.