A keeper at the Shendiaoshan wild animal reserve in Rong-cheng, China, adopted a newborn elephant after its mother rejected and attempted to kill him.
The new arrival, called Zhuang-zhuang, cried uncontrollably for five hours under a blanket after he was taken away from his mother.
Initially, vets thought it was an accident that the mother stepped on him, but a few hours later, after tending to his injuries and returning him to their enclosure, she attacked him again.
“The calf was very upset and he was crying for five hours before he could be consoled,” one wildlife keeper explained. “He couldn’t bear to be parted from his mother and it was his mother who was trying to kill him.”
How little we know and how much we can learn from the animals we neglect and treat so badly. Keeping these intelligent animals in zoos or circuses is a disgrace. Elephants in zoos have been known to intentionally kill their young, but there is only speculation as to why this is.
“Some people think it could be a conscious decision,” says Ian Redmond, wildlife consultant with the Born Free Foundation and elephant expert. “If their quality of life is poor and they are faced with just a concrete yard, they don’t want their offspring to face the same and kill them. But it’s just a theory.”
Good thing this baby elephant got a loving home.