Elephant's Adorable 1st Birthday Celebration Goes Viral Online

The heartwarming video of a baby elephant's 1st birthday party has gone viral online, after she was serenaded and gifted a fruit banquet.

Pyi Mai turned one on Monday at the Elephant Nature Park (ENP) in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and has become an internet sweetheart after gaining 800,000 views on TikTok, in a video uploaded by sanctuary worker Brittany Vacca.

The female Asian elephant had the type of birthday surprise that could make anyone jealous, as the herd was greeted with a spread of fruit and rice.

The array of fresh fruit surrounded a rice mixture in the shape of two swans on the floor, as the herd of elephants was captured on film rushing over to the treat. As people sang "Happy Birthday" at Pyi Mai, she quite literally played with her food, kicking it about and picking it up with her trunk.

Elephant Nature Park is an ethical animal sanctuary in Thailand which, despite its name, also cares for cats, dogs, buffaloes and other rescued species.

The project started in the 1990s and provides a home for "distressed elephants from all over Thailand."

Pyi Mai came to the sanctuary after being rescued from an elephant camp with her mom. "She has the joys of an unfettered life with a growing family and [is] safe forever. What a blessing," wrote Elephant Nature Park in a celebratory Facebook post.

"She will mature into a happy elephant with deep bonds of friendship here at ENP," it added.

Vacca works at the sanctuary and regularly takes the opportunity to share the lives of the elephants online, often capturing Pyi Mai rolling in mud and playing in water.

"She's still got her baby hairs," noted one TikTok viewer.

"Like one-year-olds everywhere. playing in her food," joked another user.

"I know I'm on the right side of TikTok when I come across people singing 'Happy Birthday' to a baby elephant," added another.

According to an earlier video by Vacca, Pyi Mai "has gotten so big and so incredibly beautiful," over her recent months at the sanctuary. "She is so gentle and sweet and kind, and incredibly funny and charismatic," she added.

Pyi Mai's herd joined another herd at the sanctuary earlier in the year, to form one harmonious family. According to ENP, a calf will follow its mother everywhere during its primary years to learn valuable survival lessons, and will also have a designated auntie chosen by the mother should anything happen—essentially a godparent.

Herds also consist of females of different ages, with one chosen matriarch. Males stay in the herd until the age of 13, when they are "exiled" with other males and keep a distance, only returning when it's time to repopulate.

Yesterday, 22 November 2021 Pyi Mai celebrated her 1st birthday. This beautiful life was born in a camp, but set free from that condition together with...