Heartbreaking video shows the moment an Indian elephant bids farewell to his beloved master who died of cancer

·2-min read
Elephant in Indian village bids farewell to trainer
A screenshot of the video showing an elephant bid farewell to Damodaran Nair in Kerala, India, on June 4, 2021. Bijupanoorkaaran via Facebook
  • A heartbreaking video shows the moment an Indian elephant bid farewell to its long-time trainer.

  • Damodaran Nair, who took care of elephants in a village in Kerala, died of cancer on June 3.

  • The elephant paid his last respects to his master by waving his trunk and bowing his head.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A heartbreaking video shows the moment an elephant said goodbye to its long-time master after he died of cancer in Kerala, India, last week, the Indian Express reported.

Damodaran Nair was a so-called "mahout" who took care of elephants in the district of Kottayam for more than six decades. Before his death on June 3, the 74-year-old wanted to see his favorite elephant, Brahamdathan, one last time.

According to the elephant's owner, Rajesh Palattu, the two had been inseparable since meeting 25 years ago, and Nair treated the elephant-like his own son.

Read more: Several members of my family in India got COVID, so I flew home to help. While the US reopens, India is still deep in crisis.

"The bond and love between the two, Damodaran Nair and Brahmadathan, was one to watch and emulate," Palattu said, according to Gulf News.

Nair passed away before his dying wish could be fulfilled, but his family made sure Brahamdathan could bid farewell one final time before the funeral.

Footage posted on social media captured the emotional moment, which shows Brahmadattan walking up to Nair's wrapped-up body, which appears to be lying at the entrance of a house.

A crowd of teary-eyed onlookers begins to weep as the elephant touches Nair's body with its trunk before raising and lowering it as if the animal is waving goodbye.

"We were all moved with tears rolling down our cheeks. It was one of the most trying parting moments one could witness," Palattu said, according to Gulf News.

Watch the moment below:

The video has garnered thousands of views on social media.

Traditionally, a mahout receives an elephant early on in its life and trains to keep it by his family. The mahout and elephant remain bonded to each other through their lives.

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