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Elephants Sensed Waves Coming


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Elephants sensed waves coming

Khao Lak _ Agitated elephants felt the tsunami coming, and their sensitivity saved about a dozen foreign tourists from the fate of thousands killed by the giant waves.

''I was surprised because the elephants had never cried before,'' mahout Dang Salangam said yesterday on Khao Lak beach at the eight-elephant business offering rides to tourists.

The elephants started trumpeting _ in a way which Dang, 36, and his wife Kulada, 24, said could only be described as crying _ at first light, about the time a massive earthquake cracked open the sea bed off Indonesia's Sumatra island.

The elephants soon calmed, but began wailing again an hour later, and this time they could not be comforted.

''They just kept running for the hill,'' said Wit Aniwat, 24, who helps tourists mount the elephants.

Those with tourists aboard headed for the jungle-clad hill behind the resort beach where at least 3,800 people, more than half of them foreigners, would soon die. ''Then we saw the big wave coming and we started running,'' Mr Wit said.

Around a dozen tourists also ran toward the hill from a nearby resort. ''The mahouts managed to turn the elephants to lift the tourists onto their backs,'' Mrs Kulada said.

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

The elephants charged up the hill through the jungle.

Buffalo, also sensing the approaching danger, led an entire village in Ranong's tambon Muang Kluang to the safety of higher ground, a villager said.

Kornee Art-harn, 42, said about 100 buffalo were grazing near the beach at Bang Koey village when the entire herd suddenly lifted their heads and looked out to sea, ears standing upright. They turned and stampeded up the hill.

Bewildered villagers ran after the buffaloes fearing the beasts would be lost.

Mr Kornee said within minutes of the villagers making their way to the hilltop, the huge tidal waves slammed into the fishing community.

''Not a single one of us sustained a scratch,'' he said.REUTERS

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Around a dozen tourists also ran toward the hill from a nearby resort. ''The mahouts managed to turn the elephants to lift the tourists onto their backs,'' Mrs Kulada said.

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

This is a hoax, right? Nice story but, elephants plucking foreigners from the ground and depositing them on their backs is a bit much. Also, do you have the link to the original story. TIA.

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It was in yesterday's Bangkok Post

http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/03Jan2005_news10.php

If you don't care to register.

Here it is on Google

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Elephants sensed waves coming

Bangkok Post, Thailand - Jan 2, 2005

... Around a dozen tourists also ran toward the hill from a nearby resort. ``The mahouts managed to turn the elephants to lift the tourists onto their backs,'' Mrs ...

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It's not necessarily some animal sixth sense, is it?

Both elephants and buffalo can detect much lower frequency sounds than humans, and those low-frequency sounds travel a long way.

I guess they heard something very big coming toward them. Or does anyone else have a scientific explanation?

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It's not necessarily some animal sixth sense, is it?

Both elephants and buffalo can detect much lower frequency sounds than humans, and those low-frequency sounds travel a long way.

I guess they heard something very big coming toward them. Or does anyone else have a scientific explanation?

There's another thread about it in the disaster forum. No need to be over cynical :o

But maybe they are just more "in tune" with their environment.

Extract from BBC news about tribal people in andaman islands

"The Andaman and Nicobar archipelago is home to several primitive tribes, some so isolated that they are still stuck in the stone age.

Officials believe they survived the devastation by using age-old early warning systems.

They might have run to high ground for safety after noticing changes in the behaviour of birds and marine wildlife.

Scientists are examining the possibility to see whether it can be used to predict earth tremors in future.

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