Elephant herds take care of their own we’re told, then what happened to this elephant calf and her mother in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is a bit strange.
Sitting at a water hole in a game reserve is one of my most favorite things to do. It’s like sitting in an outdoor movie theater, only better. The plot unfolds spontaneously, the actors all improvise, anything can happen, and usually does.
In this particular instance an elephant herd, three hippos, a crocodile and numerous birds are already at the water hole. From the opposite side we see them coming. A herd of at least a dozen elephant pick up the pace the closer they get to the water. They’re obviously thirsty at the end of a hot day in Africa. Amongst the stout legs are four tiny ones, moving as fast as they possibly can to keep up.
The herd gets to the water’s edge and all trunks go down. The tiny one face plants right into the water (we learn later that new borns can’t use their trunk yet to draw water.)
What begins to unfold as we watch is confusing. The elephant calf seems lost. One of the juveniles and even the adults at times seem to be rejecting it. Why?
The elephant calf even gets bowled over. Falls into the waterhole. And at the end… Well, it would take far too long to tell all the details of the scene that unfolds before us. Plus, I’d surely miss many of them… So watch the video below, “Did the baby elephant get rejected by the herd?”. There are also hundreds of comments. Some with interesting insights as to what is happening, while others, well, just crazy folk with nothing better to do than be impolite.
You may want to grab a snack as the scenario takes a good 20 minutes to play itself out to a rather different outcome than might be expected.