Adorable elephant at Chinese zoo delights visitors by returning dropped shoe to child

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An elephant at a zoo in China delighted visitors after it picked up a shoe dropped by a child and returned it to him.

The elephant at Weihai zoo in Shandong province was inside its enclosure when the boy dropped his shoe, reported the South China Morning Post.

The tusker then picked up the shoe by wrapping his trunk around it before returning it to the boy’s outstretched hand.

Delighted, the boy picked up a handful of grass and fed the elephant to show his gratitude.

“Elephants are really warm and smart!” the boy was quoted as saying.

According to the zoo’s management, the 25-year-old male elephant is named “Mountain Range” and is a favourite with visitors at the zoo.

“Because the elephant has interacted with people so frequently, he has basic communication skills with humans,” a staff member told ThePaper.cn.

“It is an Asian elephant, and he will also help pick up water bottles every day,” the staffer said.

Zoo management gave Mountain Range a bonus meal for helping the boy, according to another staff member.

“We spoke with the elephant keeper and discovered that elephants typically enjoy watermelon and bananas,” the staff member said.

“We then brought him a watermelon and several bunches of bananas to feed him. A couple of days later, we brought him more watermelons, bananas and peaches.”

“Because elephants have a big appetite, we tried to feed him less but have more frequent meals so he could enjoy the fruits he likes more often,” the person added.

Staff members said that the elephant later showed off his earned watermelon.