Elephant pays respects to its trainer with heartbreaking trunk salute

I’ll never forget you: Heartbreaking moment elephant pays its final respects to its trainer with a salute of its trunk after walking 15 miles to see his body

  • Omanchetan, 74, spent six decades training elephants in Kerala, India
  • He died from cancer last week and a ceremony was held with his body displayed
  • His favourite elephant walked for two hours and saluted the body with its trunk 

This is the heartbreaking moment an elephant paid its final respects to its trainer with a salute of its trunk after walking 15 miles to see his body for the last time in India.

Kunnakkad Damodaran Nair, known as Omanchetan, 74, died from cancer on Thursday after caring for the animals for six decades in Kottayam, Kerala. 

One of his elephants, Pallata Brahmadathan, walked two hours to join friends and relatives who had gathered outside Omanchetan’s house for a ceremony. 

Footage shows the elephant reaching out its trunk towards Omanchetan’s body before offering a salute.

The elephant’s new handler Rajesh struggled to fight back tears during the emotional moment, saying: ‘When Brahmadathan lumbered to the funeral I couldn’t bear it. They loved each other like anything.’

The elephant had been under the care of Omanchetan since 1996, last appearing together at a festival in April.

An elephant paid its final respects to its trainer with a salute of its trunk after walking 15 miles to see his body for the last time in India

Kunnakkad Damodaran Nair, known as Omanchetan, 74, died from cancer on Thursday after caring for elephants for six decades in Kottayam, Kerala

One of his elephants, Pallata Brahmadathan, walked two hours to join friends and relatives who had gathered outside Omanchetan’s house for a ceremony

Footage shows the elephant reaching out its trunk towards Omanchetan’s body before offering a salute

The elephant’s new handler Rajesh struggled to fight back tears during the emotional moment

The elephant had been under the care of Omanchetan since 1996, last appearing together at a festival in April

Many at the service became very emotional as they saw the elephant pay its respect to its trainer

There were many gathered as Omanchetan’s body was displayed publicly outside his home

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