From the unbelievable chaos of the Tsunami disaster comes an incredible story from Jim France of the Pavilion Hotel Group in Bangkok.
At a resort on Phuket, one of the most popular attractions is (was) elephant rides. As many as 8 people on one elephant, first into the surrounding forest, then down to the beach, to lunch at a fresh water lagoon, then back to the hotel.
The elephants (9) were kept chained to in-ground posts, not because they needed to be, but because it made the mothers feel better because their children seemed safe from a tromping when feeding the beasts.
About twenty minutes before the first wave hit, the elephants became extremely agitated and unruly. Four had just returned from a trip and their handler's had not yet chained them.
They helped the other five tear free from their chains. They all then climbed a hill and started bellowing. Many people followed them up the hill. Then the waves hit. After the waves subsided, the elephants charged down from the hill, and started picking up children with their trunks and running them back up the hill; when all the children were taken care of, they started helping the adults. They rescued 42 people. Then, they returned to the beach and carried up 4 dead bodies, one of a child. Not until the task was done would they allow their handler's to mount them. Then with handler's atop, they began moving wreckage.
Truly amazing story!