The 'elephant grandfather' who wouldn't give up
Yang Jinghao in Xishuangbanna

After Ran Ran the elephant was found in the wild with serious injuries in 2005, vets suggested her chances of returning to health were slim and recommended euthanasia. Xiong Chaoyong disagreed.

"I thought we have the obligation to rescue her," he told CGTN.

Xiong gradually nursed her back to health, and through subsequent illnesses, forming in the process a bond so tight he now considers the animal as his daughter.

She was the first elephant to receive Xiong's care, but not the last.

Even after being seriously injured in a vehicle accident caused by one of his charges, Xiong insisted on returning to his job at the Asian Elephant Breeding and Rescue Center in Xishuangbanna.

This year, his 18th as an elephant keeper, he was recognised with a national award.

He is also now an elephant grandfather after his favorite Ran Ran gave birth in 2019.

The 'elephant grandfather' who wouldn't give up

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