Everyone knows that elephants have the best memories in the animal kingdom. So, you have to be careful around an elephant and don’t annoy them, because they never forget anything! And even though not all elephants can find their way back to their herds from time to time, this man would soon find out how good an elephant’s memory is.
Humans might easily forget things, but this elephant will surprise you, as much as it surprised her former human companion. Meet Sunita, the cheeky elephant…
20. Never Forget
An elephant never forgets, and the same happened to Sunita. She wasn’t a wild elephant that roamed the plains of Africa or India. She grew up with Charlie Frank and Madeline, his wife. Charlie loved elephants and even trained them.
19. A Beautiful Childhood
Sunita was adopted when she was 5 years old, in 1955. Charlie wanted to show the world how talented Sunita was, so they attended parades, they performed in circuses and got more famous!
18. Sunita Became Famous
The trio was very famous and Sunita enjoyed her time learning all the stage directions and routines for the circus. But what would happen in the future, when she and her human companions would get too old to perform?
17. Visiting the World
They traveled the world and drew everyone’s attention. It was so fun watching them all get along with the cute elephant! Sunita even got famous in Hollywood, performing with actors in movies.
16. Hitting The Screens
You can see Sunita with Lucille Ball in this picture. But decades later, would the elephant still remember her childhood? There was only one way to find out, a year later…
15. Time to Retire
16 years passed and Charlie, Madeline, and Sunita started to feel the old age creep in. Charlie decided in 1971 that it was best for them to retire. But would Sunita be a proper house pet for their home, back in the suburbs?
14. What To Do With Sunita?
Charlie and Sunita had a special bond, and they were long-time companions. He couldn’t just sell the elephant, what if someone treated her poorly? So, he decided that this would be the best place for her…
13. The San Diego Wild Animal Park
Charlie donated Sunita to the Wild Animal Park, and it was a great decision. Sunita would roam free in the open, with other elephants by her side. She lived there for 15 years, without seeing Charlie or Madeline again. Until Charlie decided to do something amazing…
12. Roaming With Other Elephants
Sunita was a cheeky elephant that loved all the attention. The team that took care of her would always be picked on by the elephant if they didn’t pay attention to her. She was officially called a brat and everyone loved her!
11. A Beautiful Life
Sunita has had a beautiful life, starting with an amazing childhood near people that loved her and getting to a place where she got to meet other elephants and loving people as well. But she would soon be in for a surprise…
10. Meeting Sunita 15 Years Later
Madeline passed away and Charlie saw that his health started to decline as well. So he decided to see his old friend again before passing away. He was so eager to see her and to find out if she would recognize him. Grab some tissues, because it’s an emotional moment.
9. Charlie Recognized Nita From 100 Yards Away!
The old man saw Sunita from far away and started calling to her: ‘Nita! Nita! What’re you doing out there? C’mon! C’mon! Hurry up! Something’s liable to get you out there.’ At first, the elephant didn’t listen to him…
8. ‘Come Running’
‘You better get over here’, Charlie said. And as he finished calling to her, Nita got closer and saw something she remembered very well: her favorite treats and her favorite human! So, she rushed to the old trainer and opened her mouth.
7. Jelly Beans, The Best Treat
Charlie brought some jelly beans, the treats he used to give her when she was a baby elephant. Soon enough, she remembered it all and then the magic happened. Charlie took Sunita to a different place.
6. Remembering the Old Times
Charlie and Sunita headed to the circus ring, and that’s when the elephant started showing off the tricks she learned when she was young. She remembered the routine and all her old tricks and then she laid around to eat some more jelly beans.
5. Sunita Amazed Everyone!
Everyone watching them was in awe. Charlie said that ‘as a rule, they’re a friend for life if you take care of them’. Sunita worked only with the people she loved and knew.
4. A 60-Year-Old Elephant Performing Circus Tricks
Both were a bit rusty, as Charlie was old and Sunita was almost 60-years-old. But this didn’t prevent the two old friends to have some fun and remember the great times spent together.
3. ‘A Friend For Life’
Indeed, Sunita has been a friend for life for Charlie and it’s no doubt she recognized him. She remembered the face of the man that changed and shaped her life. Their encounter was documented in a documentary and it’s melting everyone’s hearts.
2. The Old Elephant Passed Away
Unfortunately, old age left its mark and Sunita passed away in 2009, on February 25. She was very weak and sick, so the team gave her all her favorite food and comforted her a few days before making the right choice and put her out of her misery.
1. A Lovely Reunion Melting Everyone’s Hearts
Charlie also passed away of old age, but at least he managed to see his best friend once more. The lovely reunion brought everyone to tears. Sunita was the elephant ambassador that made everyone’s lives brighter with her beautiful personality.
‘We all feel lucky to have known her’, said the Wild Animal Park Asian Elephant Team.