Sir David Attenborough
"The great thing about elephants is that they have huge memories. I've heard some really quite alarming stories about how one elephant was maltreated by a keeper before it was saved and taken away. But when that man who maltreated her came within a few yards of the cage the elephant went really crazy. So the elephant had recognised that man and if he had gone in that cage the elephant would have injured him - it would have been disastrous.
They are very strange and amazing creatures - it is very interesting that they swim. You wouldn't have thought an elephant could swim, but it is an amazing swimmer, and that trunk may well have evolved as a snorkel.
We wanted to film them doing so and there were some in Thailand that were domesticated so we said to the chap “will they swim?” and he said “well, they might. We might persuade them to swim” and the director said “well, we’ll give it a go, but you go on its back. It’s much more interesting if you go on its back!” So before we actually swam he said you ought to get used to it, so we went for a little run. I got on the back of this elephant, sitting on its neck and we went into the forest on this trail with the mahout who were all wearing white with me on the elephant! I suddenly realised that actually if the elephant didn't care for me, all it had to do was walk into the forest where there was a low branch and simply wipe me off its back! Which it didn't.
You wouldn't have thought an elephant could swim, but it is an amazing swimmer, and that trunk may well have evolved as a snorkel.
So we then went down to the beach, and I was doing all these things that you see in films like kicking it under the ear, gently of course, and she did not want to go. But I kept at it and eventually she did get just out of her depth, and I thought “I am mad!” All she’d have to do is simply to roll and I've had it. So I suggested that we returned, which she did!"