How to be an an elephant's best friend

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 12 2015 02:26 PM | Updated as of Nov 07 2016 11:37 AM

Dogs may be man's best friend, but for a guy like John Chua, he's friends with no less than the only elephant in the country: Mali.

And he's no animal trainer or zoo keeper, either; because if he's not spending time with the Asian elephant, he's taking photographs and spending his day like any regular Filipino.

But what sets him apart is his great love and concern for Mali.

Mali was orphaned after poachers killed her mother. She was sent to the Philippines in 1980 when the Sri Lankan government donated her via a zoo exchange.

Like most Asian elephants, she is small compared to the herd or parade of elephants in Africa. Though she has poor eyesight, elephants compensate for it with a great sense of smell.

So what does it take to be a BFF with an elephant?

Here's how John Chua did it:

John also has a few "secrets" about Mali:

On music: "Alam ko si Mali, kapag nakadinig ng trombone sa banda, ayaw niya yan."

On vehicles: "She has this fear kapag nakadinig siya ng truck, yung diesel, the sound of the diesel engine."

On animals: "Kapag nakakita siya ng kabayo, galit na galit sya."

On being clingy: "Sometimes meron akong shooting sa probinsya... kaya nawala ako ng dalawang linggo. Nung bumalik ako, deadma. Yes! Mali, she walks away. If she is angry, she would raise her ear."

How about you, do you have unique animal friends?

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