I’m  not going soft, but sometimes I like these heartwarming stories, and this one  truly is amazing.

In 1986, Dan Harrison was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern  University.

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant  standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Dan  approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee and inspected the  elephant’s foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Dan worked the wood out with his  hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The  elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face,  stared at him for several tense moments.

Dan stood frozen, thinking of  nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly,  turned, and walked away.

Dan never forgot that elephant or the events of  that day.

Twenty years later, Dan was walking through the Chicago Zoo  with his teenaged son.

As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of  the creatures turned and walked over to near where Dan and his son Dan Jr. were  standing.

The large bull elephant stared at Dan, lifted its front foot  off the ground, and then put it down. The elephant did that several times then  trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the  encounter in 1986, Dan couldn’t help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Dan summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way  into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in  wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Dan’s legs  and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn’t the same elephant.

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