This week during our surveys in Lake Manyara National Park, we were excited to see a baby elephant that we guessed was no more than an hour or two old. He was born in a dry, sandy riverbed, making a soft bed to rest and gather his strength to stand up and nurse for the first time. Three large female elephants (the mother and related females) formed a triangle around him, fiercely guarding the vulnerable newborn.
After a while, the mother gently helped the baby to stand up, using her foot to raise him and trunk to steady him. He was extremely wobbly on his feet and fell several times.
Immediately upon standing up, the baby elephant raised his head and made suckling motions. The females guided him to his mother's teat and we applauded when he took his first drink of nutrient-rich milk.
Science News and Updates From the Field from Wild Nature Institute.
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