The cartoon above, by the artist Sisidea, is being widely shared on Thai social media. It portrays each of the groups taking part in this operation using animals.

According to the illustrator, the leader of the operation, Narongsak Osatanakorn, is the elephant – the elephant being the symbol of Chiang Rai province. He is a white elephant too – signifying the rareness of his leadership abilities, the cartoonist says.

The wild boars are obviously the boys – that’s the name of their football team – while the white horses represent the volunteers. The seals are the Thai navy Seals who are coordinating this operation while the frogs represent the Thai and international divers.

The lions are the English divers, the kangaroos, the Australians. The Panda is the Chinese team, the cranes, the Japanese team and the moose are the Swedes. The tigers are the Burmese team and the brown elephants are the Laos specialists. The dogs represent the police and the Iron Man is Elon Musk.

And the birds – the ones flying the opposite direction to everyone else? They would be the media, and the Thai bloggers who have been criticising the operation.