Animal heroics

Wow. Fascinating stories are starting to come out about animal behaviour before and during the tsunami. In this case, elephants saved about a dozen tourists:

“The elephants started trumpeting — in a way Dang, 36, and his wife Kulada, 24, said could only be described as crying — at first light, about the time an earthquake measured at a magnitude of 9.0 cracked open the sea bed off Indonesia’s Sumatra island.

The elephants soon calmed down. But they started wailing again about an hour later and this time they could not be comforted despite their mahouts’ attempts at reassurance.

‘The elephants didn’t believe the mahouts. They just kept running for the hill …Those with tourists aboard headed for the jungle-clad hill behind the resort beach … The elephants that were not working broke their hefty chains.

‘Then we saw the big wave coming and we started running,’ Wit said.

Around a dozen tourists were also running toward the hill … ‘The mahouts managed to turn the elephants to lift the tourists onto their backs,’ Kulada said.

She used her hands to describe how the huge beasts used their trunks to pluck the foreigners from the ground and deposit them on their backs.”

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