An orphaned elephant displayed her inseparable bond with two rescue dogs as she took her canine friends for a ride on her back in Thailand.
Footage captured at the Tiemchan Elephant Camp in Chiang Mai shows six-year-old female elephant Valentine let her two canine friends, Hiccup and Maa, sit on her back for a tandem ride.
The elephant, who was born at the elephant sanctuary, carefully moves across the ground as her two passengers enjoy the view from above.
Six-year-old female elephant Valentine sits down and lets the two-year-old black Labrador Hiccup sit on her back at the Tiemchan Elephant Camp in Chiang Mai, Thailand
The elephant, who was born at the animal sanctuary six years ago, patiently sits on the grass for her canine passengers
A member of staff keeps a watchful eye over the animals as Valentine gives the canines a ride on her back
During the clip, which was filmed on August 27, Valentine patiently kneels down on the ground as the two-year-old black Labrador Hiccup is helped onto the elephant’s back by a member of staff at the wildlife sanctuary.
Just seconds later, Maa runs towards the elephant and is lifted onto the unfazed elephant’s back.
The pair then enjoy the view from above as Valentine slowly walks around the animal sanctuary under the watchful eye of members of staff.
Valentine, who was born in the camp six years ago, struck her unlikely friendship with Hiccup soon after he was rescued and brought to the sanctuary.
The inseparable pair were then joined by Maa who now enjoys tandem rides with her animal friends.
Speaking about Valentine’s strong bond with Hiccup, member of staff at the camp Chaimongkol Kananok said: ‘I guess it’s because they grew up together. This is quite unusual, dogs and elephants do not get along. I was surprised.’
The elephant carefully moves across the ground as her two canine friends enjoy the view from above
Hiccup and Maa balance themselves on Valentine’s back as the elephant walks around the sanctuary
The member of staff added that Hiccup has since taken on the role of an elephant rider, otherwise know as a mahout, and is very protective of Valentine.
Chaimongkol added: ‘He thinks he is the bodyguard of Valentine and is very protective of her.
‘The pooch is like the elephant’s shadow, they are always together. Even while sleeping, Valentine is never out of Hiccup’s sight.’
The Asian Elephant, which is classified as an endangered species, is the continent’s largest terrestrial mammal and has three subspecies – the Indian, Sumatran and Sri Lankan.
They are typically smaller than the African elephant and their skin ranges from dark grey to brown, with patches of pink on the forehead, the ears and the base of the trunk.
In Thailand there are an estimated 3,000 elephants, with many living in sanctuaries, elephant parks, zoos and tourist resorts.