Baby Elephant on a Phuket Beach: The real story behind the photos

4 things you should know about these photos:


  • NO, it’s not the first time he sees the sea! The baby elephant actually comes here to play every day
  • In 90% of the cases I was not credited for it, someone removed my name from my photos: Booooh!
  • The photos were shot on Bangtao beach, Phuket Thailand.
  • The baby elephant name is ‘Lucky’, and he must be 4 years old.

So how did it become viral?


It all happened on Bangtao beach in Phuket, during a casual lunch with friends. I saw a small elephant walking alone toward the water and I, of course, thought he would stop there and wait. But no, once approaching the sea, he just started to run faster and rammed into the waves like the kid he was! He came in and out several times; his mahout was casually waiting nearby, apparently used to the elephant’s behaviour. The elephant suddenly did something hilarious, totally unexpected: he put his head into the sand and pushed himself forward. I happened to carry a 28-300 mm lens on that day, giving me this perspective, and the photo of a lifetime!

The real story behind it… (and how I became anonymously famous)


The photo of this baby elephant enjoying his little daily bath on Bangtao Beach in Phuket have been around the social world countless times, and of course, in this age of self-gratification, my name was early removed and an incredible amount of people, some very famous, posted it, sometimes mixed with photos taken by someone else.

Strangely, a couple of years after I took these awesome photos, the viral phenomenon got bigger and bigger, and I keep on getting weekly alerts from readers and friends spotting my photos here and there: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, you name it, all without any credit, of course. I guess that’s the way it is now: I’m an anonymous celebrity, that’s a consolation! Woohoo!

So enjoy these photos, and no, I will no put an ugly watermark across the whole picture, it is way too late anyway

(HOWEVER, If you see my photo somewhere, do what some of my many readers did so nicely to support the unfortunate photographer that I am: post a link to this page on the offending websites! THANK YOU!)

About Willy Thuan: Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world early and never stopped until I settled in Thailand in 1994. Then for the past 25 years, my passion for photography has taken me to every corner of Thailand. I have been a Phuket blogger since January 2011.

Source: Phuket Blog and Travel Guide


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