Elephant strikes up such close friendship with handler he won’t leave his side

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Elephants never forget, according to the saying – and if that’s true, Makhavusi’s best pal has some making up to do.

His human handler Marupia Chivhanga recently returned from a month-long holiday – and Mak has barely left his side since.

Photographer Sam Turley, who captured these images of the unlikely friendship, said: “Marupia walked over to Mak and Mak gave him a full inspection with his trunk.

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The photographs were captured at the wildlife conservancy in Zimbabwe, Africa
(
Sam Turley / CATERS NEWS)

“Marupia then gently placed his forehead on Mak’s front leg and as a greeting, Mak let out the longest, deepest rumble I have ever heard – a greeting I thought was only for the closest of elephant family members.”

Marupia, who spends all day every day with 43-year-old Mak, formed a unique bond with the elephant at wildlife conservation centre Imire, in Zimbabwe.

Makhavusi was destined to be sold to a zoo as a calf but was instead rescued and brought to the wildlife conservancy
(
Sam Turley / CATERS NEWS)

Rescuers saved him from being sold to a zoo as a calf. Sam added: “Mak has formed some incredible relationships with conservancy staff. He visibly enjoys interacting with Marupia and it’s clear the feeling is mutual.

“As Mak has never had a herd, Marupia has become a part of his unconventional herd.”

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